The Qingdao Iron and Steel Group’s 40,000 m2 headquarters complex is based in Qingdao, a city on the east coast of China located roughly halfway between Shanghai and Beijing. It sits below the flight path into the local airport, and is part of a huge industrial zone where air quality is low and pollutant particulates high – with all the attendant health concerns and dirt to the buildings’ facades. Added to that, it is hot in summer and very cold in winter. In this challenging context, our masterplan creates oases of landscaped courtyards between the monumental buildings that comprise showrooms, research facilities, restaurants, sports facilities and offices.
Our response included the design of a multi-functional walkway. This elegant triple-height structure expresses the company’s social as well as environmental values. At ground level, the walkway is experienced as a cloister – hence its name – for use by the workers to get to all facilities across the site. It supports an enclosed corridor above used by the CEO and visitors to access all areas without the need to go outside. Its slightly tapered section is deliberately reminiscent of the metal ingots produced at the steelworks during processing. We deployed a palette of materials