China’s oil city, Karamay, is to get a new hi-tech zone in a bid to diversify away from a purely hydrocarbon economy. Construction on the Atkins-designed "Cloud Computing Industry Park" starts next week.
The eco-friendly park, which will cover almost 50,000 sq m, will accommodate a number of software companies. Atkins says the park was designed "to encourage a creative culture, incorporating shared facilities and social spaces".
Modular buildings partly pre-fabricated off site will link together and minimise exposure to the region’s extreme climate, which can see temperatures range from -30°C in winter to over 42°C in summer.
The design for one of the buildings to be built at Karamay’s Cloud Computing Industry Park
They’ve been designed according to the "China Three-Star" green rating system, a first for Karamay.
Karamay is one of China’s wealthiest cities, with the country’s highest GDP per capita due to it being home to China’s largest oil fields. It was founded 50 years ago but has recently been striving to diversify its economy away from oil.
Steven Smit, Atkins’ architecture design director in Shanghai, said: "Our challenge was to design collaborative contemporary spaces to help attract a new growth industry to the region."
Atkins prepared Karamay’s City Diversification Strategy in 2011, which defined a route for the city to develop a circular economy and identified the opportunity to attract a wide range of other industries such as IT (including cloud computing), engineering services, automotive and tourism.
The shared outdoor space at Karamay’s Cloud Computing Industry Park
Atkins has also been a masterplanner for the city government, providing designs for a new transport hub, a central business district and motor city zone as well as a new park, lake and bridge.Â
Construction of the computing park is due to begin on 15 June, and the first phase will complete in 2015.