The Southwest Regional Headquarters of the Jingdong (JD.com) e-commerce corporation has been completed in the capital of the Chinese province of Sichuan. The design by the architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp), who won the international competition in 2016, follows the conceptual idea of a space sequence that flows horizontally and vertically, generating an interchange between inside and outside.
Using a simple geometric principle, interlaced internal and external spaces are created that provide a diverse range of places for communication and exchange, as well as very varied worlds of work: the eleven-story building consists of three volumes that resemble a rectangular figure of eight, stacked and rotated by 90 degrees to each other.
This arrangement generates landscaped inner courtyards and roof gardens within the sculptural building ensemble. The new building was subject to a maximum height of 60 meters and, with its high density, offers flexibly usable office spaces, all with direct access to green areas. The figure-of-eight footprint layouts also make it possible to provide natural lighting to all workplaces.
The major part of the structural load is carried by the nine solid building cores used for vertical circulation, thereby allowing maximum flexibility for the subdivision of the approx. 12,500 m2 of each floor. In addition to the representative public facilities on the first floor, such as an auditorium and an exhibition hall, further social functions are provided in the mezzanine areas of the 5th and 9th floors, which benefit from the extensive terraces at these levels.
The facade with its sawtooth-type folds reinforces the readability of the three stacked volumes; every third story has alternating slender vertical glass and concrete elements with integrated individually openable ventilation casements. Depending on the viewing angle, the building is perceived as having a more transparent or a more closed envelope which, together with the stacked building volumes, creates a vivacious and unmistakable presence in the city environment.
With the new building for JD.com, one of the world’s largest online businesses, gmp has completed another project for a leading online and ICT corporation in China.