Hangzhou, CN


Listening to the Future: Construction of iFLYTEK Global Headquarters in Progress

In 2022, line+ studio successively acquired the authority to design the architecture, interior and landscape of the “iFLYTEK Global Headquarters”. Fanhao Meng, co-founder and chief architect of line+, as the design principal and chief architect of the project, is in charge of the coordination of architectural, interior, landscape, curtain wall and lighting design of iFLYTEK Headquarters, and controls the whole process of the project from conception to implementation. Currently, after several rounds of scheme optimization, the project has fully started construction and is expected to be completed in 2023.

“Artificial intelligence is a broad interdisciplinary and frontier science. For a Chinese AI company with global influence, the headquarters park not only represents the external image of the company, but also shows the oriental wisdom and humanism with its technological appearance. We try to realize a hyperlinked, strongly conducted and growable system through the “super cell body” to realize an open and shared urban park, so that work, life and natural scenes can be interwoven to create a spiritual home full of creativity and vitality for iFLYTEK staff.”
-- Fanhao Meng

The project is located in Hefei High-tech Zone, with a total planned land area of 200 mu and a construction area of about 400,000 square meters. It will accommodate iFLYTEK’s corporate headquarters, a national open platform for artificial intelligence, a state key laboratory for cognitive intelligence, etc. It is expected to allow for 15,000 industrial and R&D personnel to work here after completion.

As a pioneer in the intelligent voice and artificial intelligence industry in the Asia-Pacific region and a member of “China’s National Artificial Intelligence Team”, since its establishment in 1999, iFLYTEK has been committed to building a better world with artificial intelligence through innovation and perseverance. As for the new headquarters in Hefei High-tech Zone, iFLYTEK has also set high expectations and goals: the highest level of corporate headquarters in the global intelligent voice and artificial intelligence industry, the most desired industry-city integration base for young technological and entrepreneurial talents, and the benchmark of intelligent park leading the era of artificial intelligence. Meanwhile, it is also expected to embody the company’s wisdom and imagination of oriental philosophy: sunshine and nature, kindness and harmony, simplicity and permeability, creativity and inspiration.

Following iFLYTEK staff’s vision for a future home, facing the site with undeveloped urban culture and the original natural characteristics of the surrounding area, line+ started design from the urban design perspective, proposed the “Park X” planning concept and “Campus X” space type – bridging the fault relationship between the plots with the overall design of the urban park, so as to establish a new urban culture and activate the area; establishing a functionally complex, pluralistic, efficient and accessible campus environment with humanized scale, shaping a new headquarters office space layout.

01 Park X 
Headquarters in the Park

 “Park X” firstly gives the site a dual ecological meaning - an urban park based on a large-scale view and a green sustainable park-like office environment. The park as a whole is a “headquarters in a park”, which is a big park for the city in the first place and a headquarters built in the park in the second place. From the macroscopic urban scale, it will grow organically as the “city lung” in the future high-tech industrial base, like an emerald embedded in the western part of Hefei. The park will mainly meet the needs of daily leisure activities of residents, taking into account various functions such as cultural activities, environmental beautification and disaster prevention and evacuation.

The architectural strategy of enclosing the giant volume inwards allows for a large amount of landscape space within the site. In order to better highlight the concept of “park”, we provide an open and shared interface to the city, while planning a complete slow walking system in the park. Furthermore, when dealing with the shape of the office blocks, we provide a continuous terrace, rooftop runway and solar photovoltaic panels to maintain the ecological and interesting nature of the building and integrate the office scene into the three-dimensional development of park life. 

line+ responds to the modern and urban natures of the headquarters park simultaneously by balancing the spatial relationship between privacy and publicness at different levels. The office clusters within the four plots operate independently while being interconnected through the landscape corridors, building a functional structure that combines clusters and public levels to meet the various activities of users while minimizing the distance of necessary activities and increasing efficiency.
The terrace, foyer and rooftop runway in the office area, as well as the urban AI technology exhibition hall, the central ecological corridor and several dotted AI interactive landscape installations, together with the waterfront garden and waterfront walkway outside the park, form a comprehensive urban art park, realizing a new technology culture and leisure experience of visiting the park and watching exhibitions in a technology company. Through reasonable traffic organization, the flow lines of public activities and offices in the park are avoided to cross each other, while serving as landscapes for each other.

02 Campus X 
Future Campus-style Headquarters

 “Campus” is a spatial model based on the behavioral language of students, which is in line with iFLYTEK’s corporate development vision centering on young talents and its kinship gene of the University of Science and Technology of China. As for the headquarters park that is an architectural type in the new era, the mixed functional demands create the multiplicity of scenes and the polysemy of spaces, and the ensuing superposition and juxtaposition of the meaning of places.

 “Campus X” draws on the central axis layout of classical institutions, emphasizing a sense of sequence and ritual, while drawing on the contemporary university spirit of innovation, independence and freedom, emphasizing openness and urbanity, to create a campus-style headquarters of the future. 

The integration of people-oriented scale spatial places into the super-scale building volume with city identity, such as cafeteria, sports center and rooftop runway, etc., accommodates composite activity scenes, creating a young, energetic and inspiring campus-style humanistic atmosphere, promoting the development of industry-city integration with the agglomeration of industrial resources, public ecological landscape, and interaction and sharing with the city.

While emphasizing the placement of sunlight and nature in interior spaces, line+ believes that the office space in the future is ecologically sustainable, intelligent, rich in multiple experiences and full of social scenes. A flexible and borderless shared space can stimulate creativity, enable efficient collaborative work and make work more interesting.

In the flexible modular system, the indoor functions are divided into four modules: office, meeting, energization and communication, which can fully meet the needs of multiple scenarios of future offices. Through the modular space layout and soft furnishing design, it is easy to replace and upgrade the functions after putting into use, ensuring the high customization and cost optimization of the headquarters office.

03 X 
New Image of iFLYTEK

China’s artificial intelligence has stepped into the international first tier, and Chinese AI companies, represented by iFLYTEK, are influencing technology development worldwide. During the design process of the iFLYTEK headquarters, we are also faced with the task of building a new image for this ultra-frontline sci-tech enterprise.

In line+’s view, the futuristic sci-tech interface firstly shows its image as a sci-tech enterprise, and at a deeper level is the construction of a meaningful place, just like the grand vision of iFLYTEK – “Building a Better World with Artificial Intelligence” – in the oriental context, “Better World” means harmony and commonwealth, a harmonious relationship among people, places, buildings and sites, and a relationship in which the outer surface of high technology and the inner experience of human ecology interpenetrate. 

Therefore, the strategy of the architectural surface is to remove the complexity and take the simplicity, attaching importance to the texture of the details. The curtain wall system is composed of concise Low-E super white glass, color glazed glass and silver gray aluminum plate as the main materials, and the glazed spots of color glazed glass are generated by A.I., which enriches the sense of depth of the external forms. It’s worthy of a special note that the intervention of transparency makes the relationship between the inside and the outside more natural.

04 Conclusion
The design of the global headquarters base of iFLYTEK is based on the reorganization of space types and rich place creation, compatible with multiple and complex building functions and usage scenarios, and a gradual balance between the grand scale of corporate image and the practical scale of office space; with a holistic urban design and forward-looking concept of industry-city integration, it takes the lead in activating the high-tech zone, linking urban development and helping to build a “future sci-tech city”. As a local design agency in China, line+ is creating a global headquarters park for a domestic leading sci-tech enterprise, which is both challenging and full of opportunities. We empower iFLYTEK to create a “Better World” with space design – the new high of the global artificial intelligence industry is promising in the future.

Project Name: iFLYTEK Global Headquarters (Phase I)
Design by: line+ studio
Chief Architect/Design Principal: Fanhao Meng
Design Team (competition phase): 
Min Zhu, Yaliang He, Guanxing Chen, Shu Xing, Ye Huang, Jing Li, Yubin Wang, Hao Xu, Jiaofeng Huang, Erjia Zhang, Renjie Li, Chao Liu, Yiming Pan, Yuhang Shi, Bin Chen, Rui Shen, Yifan Xu, Xin Ji, Huazhou Ye, Jiaqi Ge (architecture)
Jun Zhu, Sisi Zhang, Li Yang, Zhenliang Ge, Hao Deng, Yukuan He, Xiaoxiao Fan, Zhiyi He, Siqi Lv (interior) Shangyang Li, Yuping Lu, Xiaomei Chi, Jun Li (landscape)
Design Team (implementation phase): 
Min Zhu, Xin’guang Li, Yaliang He, Guanxing Chen, Jun Hao, Chao Liu, Hang Li, Jing Li, Yukun Huang, Ye Huang, Yuhang Shi, Yifan Xu, Hao Xu, Shu Xing, Renjie Li, Yu Lin, Wenxuan Zhang, Yang Hong (architecture)
Kelun Su, Sisi Zhang, Hao Deng, Zhenliang Ge, Yukuan He, Li Yang, Xiaoxiao Fan, Zhiyi He, Ziyi Wang (interior)
Shangyang Li, Yuping Lu, Jianbo Jin, Wenjie Zhang, Feier Rao, Xiaomei Chi, Jun Li (landscape)
Diagram Drawing: Hanyue Yang, Hanyi Huang
Building Construction Drawing Unit: Shanghai Shuishi Architectural Planning & Design Co., Ltd., Qingdao Beiyang Architectural Design Co., Ltd. 
Landscape Construction Drawing Unit: Zhejiang Lansong Landscape Design Group Co., Ltd.
Interior Design Partners: Suzhou Gold Mantis Architectural Decoration Co., Ltd., CCD / Cheng Chung Design (HK)
Lighting Consultant: Architectural Lighting Institute of Tongji Architectural Design (Group) Co., Ltd. (TJAD)
Transport Consultant: Shenzhen Urban Transport Planning Center Co., Ltd.
Curtain Wall Consultant: Hangzhou Zhongchuang United Construction Technology Co., Ltd.
Contractor: Greentown Management
Project Location: Hefei, Anhui
Building area: 243,104m2 (above ground), 158,000m2 (underground)
Design Period: November 2021-November 2022
Construction Period: March 2022 to present
Structure: Frame structure, steel structure
Materials: Glass, aluminum panels, photovoltaic roofing

*  The renderings is the design concept in the scheme stage, and the actual construction effect shall prevail.

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Status: Under Construction
Location: Hefei, CN
Firm Role: architect,interior designer,landscape designer