The Alibaba Headquarters in Hangzhou establishes new international workplace standards in China, providing 150,000 square meters of flexible open plan office space within a campus style layout. Alibaba is China’s leading e-commerce company and operates the world’s largest online marketplaces for both international and domestic China trade. The dynamic campus accommodates approximately 9,000 Alibaba employees and has been designed to reflect the interconnection, diversity and vitality of the company.
The master plan principles for the Headquarters are based on the concepts of connectivity, clarity and community – concepts that are also vital to Alibaba’s e-commerce business. These principles guided all design decisions from the single workstation to the greater workplace community.
The built form and the designed ‘spaces between places’ are integrated so that each defines the other. The grand central space is complemented by a series of more intimate gardens that nurture the individual within the larger corporate community. The humanised scale of the built form and the long, narrow floorplates help to create a strong sense of place at a legible scale, and establish physical connection throughout the campus. Visual permeability – or the ability to see into and across the major courtyards into other parts of the complex – is also key to achieving the sense of community and connectivity.