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Foster + Partners wins competition for new Alibaba HQ in Shanghai

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Foster + Partners has won a competition to design the new headquarters for Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba in Shanghai

According to the practice, the design will ‘showcase the unique working culture [at Alibaba] to the public’. For Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma, this includes dancing to Michael Jackson at a staff party in 2017.

In September the company, which is valued at $584 billion (£445 billion), hosted a party for 60,000 employees as Ma stepped down as executive chairman.

The company will now move to a new headquarters on the banks of the Huangpu River to the south of Shanghai’s city centre, looking over toward the Pudong central business district.

2908 fp715726

2908 fp715726

Fosters describes the building as ‘extremely transparent’ with a large public area at the heart of the building that will allow anyone ‘a glimpse into the world of Alibaba’.

The practice also revealed it used an algorithm to achieve optimal massing on the design. The algorithm combines criteria such as responsiveness to environmental conditions, maximisation of outside views and specific area requirements to create the best form.

The design will be realised using off-site construction techniques, with modules craned in for efficiency and quality control.

Architect’s view

Our design emphasises the importance of communication, the integrity of the working community and, above all, the creation of an image that reflects the standing of Alibaba. The scheme is truly designed from the inside out, centred on a dynamic, sheltered public space capitalising on its amazing location with its views of the Huangpu River and the Bund.

Luke Fox, head of studio, Foster + Partners

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