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A Cloudy Campus for Alibaba in Shanghai by SOM


The 75,000 sq m construction is designed to mimic a cloud as a visual allusion to Alibaba’s cloud computing venture and a representation of the dynamic nature of the tech sector. The architecture of the Alibaba campus in Shanghai is intended to encourage social contact among the increasing international staff of Alibaba. This will occur in indoor courtyards, terraces outside, and what SOM refers to as “collaboration bridges,” which are column-free inside areas. The project is made to comply with China Green Star sustainable standards and LEED v4 criteria. To do this, the façade will reflect up to 40% of solar gain away from the terraces while reducing glare and the wind tunnel effect.

One of Alibaba’s guiding ideas, according to SOM design partner Scott Duncan, is the proverb “the only constant in life is changes.” He stated: “We took this idea to heart, developing a workplace flexible enough to change with the times and adapt to new demands, teams, and technology. The corporate headquarters stretches across cantilevered masses and staggered, green terraces, inverting the neighbouring structure as it is developed in conversation with the current site.

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