Innovation Parks – designing to create R&D and innovation communities

Chapman Taylor has extensive experience of designing workplace-led, mixed-use innovation parks across the world, specifically designing rounded and beautifully landscaped complexes to encourage a culture of creativity and innovation. Well-designed innovation and R&D environments can help increase productivity and job satisfaction as well as providing a relaxed and well-equipped space to help provide the basis for creative breakthroughs. Our success in the sector has been built by focusing on the specific needs of clients and end-users and by combining cutting-edge thinking on workspace design and technology with a well-considered mix of other amenities and uses. Below are some examples of our work in the sector.

NOI Techpark, Bolzano, Italy

The beautiful regeneration of what is now the NOI (Nature of Innovation) Technology Park in Bolzano involved the refurbishment of existing industrial buildings and the construction of a new building, called the ‘Black Monolith’, which creates an architectural bridge between the existing rationalist-style factory structures.

The new complex is designed to house a wide range of innovation companies, research institutions and training centres. The entire former aluminium factory site has been transformed and includes new green spaces and plazas in which people can relax and enjoy the stunning scenery.

Chapman Taylor’s Milan studio conceived and designed the new technology park in collaboration with local architects, Studio CL&AA. This striking project is carbon neutral and has LEED ND Gold sustainability certification.

Liangjiang Collaborative Innovation Zone, Chongqing, China

Chapman Taylor won a major international design competition to create the urban innovation zone on a 680-hectare site at Chongqing Liangjiang. Chapman Taylor’s masterplan concept is based on the integration of the beautiful natural environment with new technology facilities and creates a connected series of five university campuses surrounded by R&D clusters. The organic form of the campuses follows the undulating contours of the existing site, producing a dynamic combination of urban spaces.

The valley formed by the hills to the east and west perimeter of the site is to become a lake. At the northern end will be a national laboratory and the ‘Centre of Ideas’, a place which is the collaborative heart of the masterplan. The south of the lake is surrounded by beautiful landscape interspersed with social, sports and cultural villages, which are a contemporary interpretation of the traditional villages of the region.

The masterplan, now under construction, is a fully transit-orientated development and provides railway, metro, BRT, electric bus and water taxi connections throughout the site. Sustainability is embedded in the project, which is planned to be self-sufficient in energy needs – using solar, biomass and hydroelectric power sources, resulting in a saving of over 450,000 tons of CO² per annum.

EXPO Business Park, Bucharest, Romania

Chapman Taylor designed Expo Business Park for developers Portland Trust, ARES Management LP and Bluehouse Capital. The development won three 2019 CIJ Romania Awards: The Grand Prix award for “Project of the Year”, “Best Office Lease of the Year” (for the 19,000m2 ING Bank lease of the nine-floor Building C) and “Best Bucharest Standalone Office Development”.

Qilong Innovation Park, Chengdu, China

Qilong Innovation Park is located on the south side of Chengdu in Chengdu Hi-tech Zone, where the green landscapes of Qilong Park and Langan Weir Branch Canal meet. The urban cultural and creative park design draws on characteristics of both Chengdu and Japanese culture, forming an integrated development of rail interchange stations and an urban service core. We are also collaborating on the design of cultural and creative innovation facilities within an organically growing urban and ecological landscape.

The plot is located on the city’s east-west Chuangzhi Development Axis, with the Dayuan Core and Gazelle Valley Industrial Centre to the north and Tianfu Software Park to the east. In addition, Metro Lines 5 and 20 cross here, forming a strategically important public transportation intersection. Our design for Qilong Innovation Park is inspired by all of these interweaving characteristics, architecturally reflecting the symbiotic relationship between them.

MediaCityUK, Manchester, UK

MediaCityUK is the most significant media development that the UK has seen in decades, becoming home to the BBC and ITV as well as the University of Salford’s Media Faculty, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and over 200 creative, digital and tech support SMEs. The completed first phase of the project includes 380 apartments, a 200-key hotel, speculative office buildings, a site-wide tri-generation energy centre, retail and catering outlets and a multi-storey car park. MediaCityUK is the world’s first BREEAM Sustainable Community, integrating pioneering sustainable design across the entire site.

Phase two of the MediaCityUK development comprises 1,800 private sale and Build-to-Rent city apartments and townhouses, 55,000m² of additional office space, retail and leisure uses and a sequence of new public spaces.

Chapman Taylor acted as Lead Architect for phase one of this £500m project and is continuing to work with Peel Media and L&G Capital as the masterplanner for phase two, and on building designs which include 1,800 further residential units and more office buildings. MediaCityUK won the Regeneration Project of the Year award at the MIPIM UK Awards, 2015.

Liberty Techpark, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

A competition-winning design proposal for the reconfiguration of a factory site in the city of Cluj-Napoca. The redevelopment of the former Libertatea furniture factory represented a bold initiative to restore the decaying buildings and create a modern and attractive environment for new businesses.

In order to suit the new companies that will occupy these buildings our design proposals produce generous open floor space that is well-equipped with all the facilities that modern businesses require. The scheme envisages both new pavilions and renovated historic buildings in a landscaped setting, providing contemporary offices for technology companies.

Phase one, which provides 15,000m² GLA of offices in repurposed factory buildings, has been completed, as well as additional conference centre facilities, a restaurant and retail, sport and leisure amenities.

Lingang Smart Harbor, Shanghai, China

Chapman Taylor’s proposal for Lingang Smart Harbor, Shanghai, is a compact and vibrant R&D and innovation development surrounded by easily accessible parklands. Chapman Taylor’s masterplan brings together the existing parks, wetlands and coastal area into one stunning setting within a coherent landscape framework.

With a total site area of 6.78km², including 4km² for the Quay area/Harbour and 1km² in the core area, the Lingang Smart Harbor ‘citadel’ masterplan provides an unparalleled level of amenities.

J8 Office Park, Bucharest, Romania

The 78,400m2 GBA J8 Office Park scheme will be located in Bucharest’s 1st District, in the densely residential north of the city, and will comprise two separate and self-contained, eight-floor office buildings set over a shared two-level basement parking structure. The buildings will be set in a beautiful, landscaped environment designed to create semi-public spaces of human scale with an attractive and relaxing atmosphere.

The offices will U-shaped floorplans, with centrally positioned, double-height entrance lobbies facing the shared landscaped zone between the buildings. The floorplates are flexible can be sub-divided to provide four tenancies per floor, if required. A number of amenities, such as retail units, restaurants and a gym, will provide convenient services for the everyday needs of office staff and local residents and also create an active frontage and a more vibrant streetscape.

The development is targeting a BREEAM Excellent rating for sustainability – it will be energy-efficient, reducing running costs and maintenance charges, and will be built using recycled and responsibly sourced materials. The high-quality landscaping and well-lit parking garages will ensure a welcoming and safe environment for all users.

Chapman Taylor designed this high-specification and sustainable new office development on behalf of Portland Trust. The project will host the headquarters of gaming industry leader Ubisoft, which has leased 60% of the space available in two buildings.

Zhangjiang Gaoke Office Park, Shanghai, China

The Zhangjiang Gaoke Office Park in Shanghai is located in Shanghai’s fast-developing Zhangjiang R&D and industrial area in Pudong, at the north-east of Zhangjiang High-Tech Park. The concept creates a new style of R&D park which will provide an ideal innovation space for technology companies. The 161,000m2 development is flexible and open, with a layout based on seven groups of office buildings. The spaces can be divided or combined as necessary to meet the ever-changing requirements of a wide range of businesses and industries.

Circulation routes strictly distinguish spaces for visitors and internal employees, pedestrians and vehicles. Self-driving cars, shuttle buses, taxis and trucks can all run along the park’s outer ring road without crossing pedestrian paths.

The contemporary façade design reflects the culture of the technology industry while accommodating the needs of the buildings’ users; for example, the building skin is designed to provide excellent thermal insulation, shading and ventilation to help maximise the comfort of those inhabiting the space.

The masterplan creates a compact development which optimises the efficiency of circulation within the scheme. Energy-saving systems are employed to reduce operating costs and to ensure environmental sustainability.The project also includes a three-dimensional ecological landscape belt along the central north-south axis of the park with outdoor social spaces and green spaces to aid relaxation and foster creativity.

Belyaevskoe Business Park, St Petersburg, Russia

The core element of this major international business park on the eastern outskirts of St Petersburg is 500,000m² of office accommodation for approximately 50,000 workers.

The development will also comprise a sports complex, including gymnasia, tennis and squash courts, swimming pools, and recreation centres, a retail centre anchored by a food store of around 2,500m², a hotel, a conference hall, restaurants and a helipad in order to provide a connection facility to St Petersburg airport.

Chapman Taylor provided the concept design for this major office and leisure development.

Yangpu Riverside, Shanghai, China

Chapman Taylor’s competition design creates a new, mixed-use, 1,100-hectare masterplan for one of the former industrial heartlands of Shanghai. The riverside design makes provision for residential areas, research and development start-ups, a central business district, a mixed-use area and a smart development area incorporating the very latest concepts in sustainable and technologically advanced ‘future living’. The nearby University of Shanghai Science and Technology school will be served by a new university innovation cluster, providing a home for cutting-edge research, while the area’s protected industrial heritage will be refurbished to a high standard to provide a vibrant campus community.

To the north of Gonqing forest park will be an industrial incubation R&D district, well served by public transport, while the only island in the Huangpu River, Fuxing Island, will be home to a state-of-the-art 'smart development' which will produce a very low carbon footprint and act as a model for future sustainable districts.

Chapman Taylor’s masterplan concept proposes to regenerate an important urban development area of Shanghai and create a city district fully equipped for the demands of the 21st century.

Oregon Park, Bucharest, Romania

2 GBA >span class="markk9jf24xl0">Oregon Park is a flexible and sustainable Class A office development serving the IT and financial services sectors in Bucharest. Building A provides 20,000m² of offices, and is fully occupied by the US IT giant, Oracle. Building B delivered a further 24,000m² of office space, and is home for Deloitte, Kambi, Viavi, Euler Hermes, Medicover and others. Oracle has taken additional space within Building C and is joined by Philips and other major players in the digital industries.

The interior design for all common areas was undertaken by Chapman Taylor, while individual tenants have fitted out their spaces to meet their specific workplace needs and brand values. The ground floor areas include restaurants, cafés and convenience retail for the use of office occupiers and visitors alike, and each building has its own secure basement car parking.

All of the buildings have been designed with a focus on low energy consumption using renewable energy resources. The development is rated BREEAM Excellent for sustainability. Chapman Taylor was the Lead Design Architect for the project and provided detailed Author’s Site Inspections to completion.

Shanghai Media and Experience hub, Shanghai, China

Shanghai Media and Experience hub will be an advanced media, culture and technology zone which will serve as Shanghai’s foremost hub for innovation and digital interactivity. The development will offer the very latest in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, new media, big data and the internet of things across a mix of facilities, including theatres, high-tech laboratories, a cultural exhibition hall, a digital library and flexible work and meeting spaces.

The masterplan envisages three themed office and media areas surrounded by a residential community belt, all focused on a core development of media facilities, offices, a hotel and a university within a beautiful waterway landscape. The hierarchy of spaces will include stimulating and vibrant public areas, places which are semi-open and others which are for the exclusive use of campus occupants.

The 78,400m2 GBA J8 Office Park scheme will be located in Bucharest’s 1st District, in the densely residential north of the city, and will comprise two separate and self-contained, eight-floor office buildings set over a shared two-level basement parking structure. The buildings will be set in a beautiful, landscaped environment designed to create semi-public spaces of human scale with an attractive and relaxing atmosphere.

The offices will U-shaped floorplans, with centrally positioned, double-height entrance lobbies facing the shared landscaped zone between the buildings. The floorplates are flexible can be sub-divided to provide four tenancies per floor, if required. A number of amenities, such as retail units, restaurants and a gym, will provide convenient services for the everyday needs of office staff and local residents and also create an active frontage and a more vibrant streetscape.

The development is targeting a BREEAM Excellent rating for sustainability – it will be energy-efficient, reducing running costs and maintenance charges, and will be built using recycled and responsibly sourced materials. The high-quality landscaping and well-lit parking garages will ensure a welcoming and safe environment for all users.

Chapman Taylor designed this high-specification and sustainable new office development on behalf of Portland Trust. The project will host the headquarters of gaming industry leader Ubisoft, which has leased 60% of the space available in two buildings.

Zhangjiang Gaoke Office Park, Shanghai, China

The Zhangjiang Gaoke Office Park in Shanghai is located in Shanghai’s fast-developing Zhangjiang R&D and industrial area in Pudong, at the north-east of Zhangjiang High-Tech Park. The concept creates a new style of R&D park which will provide an ideal innovation space for technology companies. The 161,000m2 development is flexible and open, with a layout based on seven groups of office buildings. The spaces can be divided or combined as necessary to meet the ever-changing requirements of a wide range of businesses and industries.

Circulation routes strictly distinguish spaces for visitors and internal employees, pedestrians and vehicles. Self-driving cars, shuttle buses, taxis and trucks can all run along the park’s outer ring road without crossing pedestrian paths.

The contemporary façade design reflects the culture of the technology industry while accommodating the needs of the buildings’ users; for example, the building skin is designed to provide excellent thermal insulation, shading and ventilation to help maximise the comfort of those inhabiting the space.

The masterplan creates a compact development which optimises the efficiency of circulation within the scheme. Energy-saving systems are employed to reduce operating costs and to ensure environmental sustainability.The project also includes a three-dimensional ecological landscape belt along the central north-south axis of the park with outdoor social spaces and green spaces to aid relaxation and foster creativity.

Belyaevskoe Business Park, St Petersburg, Russia

110,000m² GBA Oregon Park is a flexible and sustainable Class A office development serving the IT and financial services sectors in Bucharest. Building A provides 20,000m² of offices, and is fully occupied by the US IT giant, Oracle. Building B delivered a further 24,000m² of office space, and is home for Deloitte, Kambi, Viavi, Euler Hermes, Medicover and others. Oracle has taken additional space within Building C and is joined by Philips and other major players in the digital industries.

The interior design for all common areas was undertaken by Chapman Taylor, while individual tenants have fitted out their spaces to meet their specific workplace needs and brand values. The ground floor areas include restaurants, cafés and convenience retail for the use of office occupiers and visitors alike, and each building has its own secure basement car parking.

All of the buildings have been designed with a focus on low energy consumption using renewable energy resources. The development is rated BREEAM Excellent for sustainability. Chapman Taylor was the Lead Design Architect for the project and provided detailed Author’s Site Inspections to completion.

Shanghai Media and Experience hub, Shanghai, China

Shanghai Media and Experience hub will be an advanced media, culture and technology zone which will serve as Shanghai’s foremost hub for innovation and digital interactivity. The development will offer the very latest in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, new media, big data and the internet of things across a mix of facilities, including theatres, high-tech laboratories, a cultural exhibition hall, a digital library and flexible work and meeting spaces.

The masterplan envisages three themed office and media areas surrounded by a residential community belt, all focused on a core development of media facilities, offices, a hotel and a university within a beautiful waterway landscape. The hierarchy of spaces will include stimulating and vibrant public areas, places which are semi-open and others which are for the exclusive use of campus occupants.

Lingang Smart Harbor, Shanghai, China

Chapman Taylor’s proposal for Lingang Smart Harbor, Shanghai, is a compact and vibrant R&D and innovation development surrounded by easily accessible parklands. Chapman Taylor’s masterplan brings together the existing parks, wetlands and coastal area into one stunning setting within a coherent landscape framework.

With a total site area of 6.78km², including 4km² for the Quay area/Harbour and 1km² in the core area, the Lingang Smart Harbor ‘citadel’ masterplan provides an unparalleled level of amenities.


Shanghai Media and Experience hub will be an advanced media, culture and technology zone which will serve as Shanghai’s foremost hub for innovation and digital interactivity. The development will offer the very latest in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, new media, big data and the internet of things across a mix of facilities, including theatres, high-tech laboratories, a cultural exhibition hall, a digital library and flexible work and meeting spaces.

The masterplan envisages three themed office and media areas surrounded by a residential community belt, all focused on a core development of media facilities, offices, a hotel and a university within a beautiful waterway landscape. The hierarchy of spaces will include stimulating and vibrant public areas, places which are semi-open and others which are for the exclusive use of campus occupants.

Shanghai Media City

The core element of this major international business park on the eastern outskirts of St Petersburg is 500,000m² of office accommodation for approximately 50,000 workers.

The development will also comprise a sports complex, including gymnasia, tennis and squash courts, swimming pools, and recreation centres, a retail centre anchored by a food store of around 2,500m², a hotel, a conference hall, restaurants and a helipad in order to provide a connection facility to St Petersburg airport.

Chapman Taylor provided the concept design for this major office and leisure development.

Oregon Park, Bucharest, Romania

Chapman Taylor won a prestigious international competition to design this world-class second Central Business District for the city of Shanghai.

Situated on a 280 hectare site fronting the Huangpu River and incorporating the existing Oriental Sports Centre, it’s also known as the Huangpu River Masterplan.

The masterplan creates a comprehensive media production and broadcast facility which creates a rich and diverse mix of residential, work and leisure activities.

Using a hierarchical transport network of roads, tramways, cycle and pedestrian routes, the masterplan establishes a series of neighbourhoods, each containing a mix of office, retail, education and hospitality facilities arranged around open parks and waterways.

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