Using nature-based design to create the best place to work
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Fred Yuhe Zhang | 张宇和
Project Architect, Head of Chinese Market
2020 — 2023
Landscape design lead, masterplan and landscape design
Partners & Collaborators
Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
The landscape for China Mobile Nature Campus is designed as a central green nature park – right in the middle of a hyper urban context. The nature park will be the heart of the new Head Quarter of China Mobile, tying the office building plots together in one coherent nature-based design.
We aspire to create the best place to work for China Mobile’s employees —
The nature park creates good working and living conditions for the employees by bringing nature into each employee’s daily work life and ensure that all employees are encouraged to connect, innovate and share knowledge together.
The China Mobile Nature Park is designed as one circular ecosystem that brings utility value, amenity value and branding value to China Mobile. With the design, we are pushing the nature park right up close to the buildings and even extending it onto the rooftops. The aim is to create a direct relationship between workspaces and nature, thus maximizing the healthy, creative, innovative and social effects of the park’s biophilic design – even when inside the buildings.
The Nature Campus is a place where employees’ physical and mental health is in focus. This is not only good for the employees but also a good investment for China Mobile, as having healthy and happy employees will reduce illness and stress and attract the best workforce today and in the future. The Nature Campus has been designed to encourage employees to connect, innovate and knowledge-share. The park optimizes the micro-climatic conditions of the site so the outdoor season is prolonged, and the employees can enjoy and meet in nature all year around.
The landscape invites for flexible use: Whether it’s sipping coffee and reading the newspaper in the morning sun, having walk & talk meetings, organizing an outdoor workshop, informal brainstorms with colleagues, or engaging in sport activities after work which improves the employees’ physical wellbeing and the social network of China Mobile.
All this means that the Nature Campus will be a high-value business case for China Mobile and a need-to-have investment, not a nice-to-have expenditure.
In the design, we have learned from Nanjing’s own ecosystems —
The nature park design learns from Nanjing’s existing nature by using regional materials, existing terrain and native plant species to create a local ecosystem within the Nature Campus. The ecosystem – consisting of local nature typologies: The River; The Flooding; The Open Land; and The Forest Mountains – is a celebration of Nanjing’s natural history and identity. The ecosystem is designed to handle rainwater and cloudbursts, reduce noise and air pollution, and improve the campus’ microclimate by creating optimal year-round working conditions in Nanjing’s humid subtropical climate – both inside and outside. Here it is possible for all employees to experience nature, have walk-and-talks, organize informal meetings or simply take a “brain break” and restitute one’s energy and creativity.
We design places for life. All life.
Essay: The Bark Room
– The Book of Garden