North Design Union Headquarters – Architecture Design Competition 2019

2018-12-24 ~ 2019-03-20
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Architecture design

Competition introduction


Innovation is to make all sorts of things together.

—— Follow Your Heart by Steve Jobs



N/A, the letter N represents North Design Union, which is also the first letter of Chinese character NA and means the wise man listens to all sides. The blue background is designed to express the meaning of the ocean, while the colorful waves with different features race each other in vast oceans and move forward hand in hand. Just like enterprises in North Design Union, they learn widely from others’ strong points and bloom together while also reach a powerful combination. Besides, colorful waves also represent freshness, which means more and more innovative designers and enterprises will join North Design Union and fresh blood will be injected.

By cooperating with Young Bird Plan (an international competition platform), the union expects to attract more design institutes and designers in order to strengthen its foundation. Meanwhile, with the aim of innovation, integration and mutual benefit, North Design Union is eager to create a union center integrating industry giants in North China.


When we enter to the information age, science and technology makes a revolutionary progress in our daily life and working mode. With the dramatic change of lifestyle and urban re-centralization, interactive and flexible building clusters become more accessible to inspire staff and search for excellent partners for them. Thus, innovation, integration and mutual benefit become key points of such industry centers.

Steve Jobs Theater in Apple Park

Undoubtedly, design practitioners are one of groups who are demanding in spatial use. Designers will create more possibilities for space and realize them after reviewing explosive information and integrating them reasonably.

Under such a condition, designers’ working environment and industrial chains’ requirements will lead and be worked as prototypes among all industries, which represent endless possibilities yet different from all industries.

La Foundation Louis Vuitton

In the near future, NDU will introduce and foster new generation of comprehensive design talents with international influence and strong ingenuity. Then, traditional headquarters and office buildings become barriers to design thinking.

Adaptability is the most important feature in design industry. Meanwhile complete cooperative mechanism, perfect match among industry chains, endless possibilities of industry expansion, strong interaction, and instant information spread also play significant roles in designing modern space to meet people’s requirements. It is undoubted that such a design center will gather around enterprises from different fields, which will generate huge polymerization effect.

Microsoft New-England Research Development Center

One certain space can be worked as a gallery, a lecture hall or an office depending on different period and users. In that case, public space like meeting rooms, guest rooms and libraries can be shared in various ways which can minimize personal costs and double the utilization efficiency. Besides, people will improve their working efficiency when sharing information through more interaction.

Bloomberg Headquarters

Also, North Design Union plans to build buildings for design research in the industrial park to promote Chentang Slef Innovation Demonstration District and makes it a cluster for design industry.

Faraday Future Campus

By 2020, North Design Union will become one of the most influential demonstration unions, which gathers design industries. And Hexi District will be the most powerful national demonstration district featuring in strong capability, sustainability and friendliness in North China.

And by 2025, the international design center will be built in north with high quality along with innovative design industrial chain. Accordingly, the cooperative mechanism and service platform of NDU will be improved, which will expand industrial chain and value chain of enterprises in the union and make their demands match with each other more efficiently.

Hilversum Media Park

So what will be the future headquarters for design industry? How it can meet above demands? What are the style, space and spatial order of the headquarters when we enter to the future information age?

North Design Union Headquarters – Architectural Design Competition 2019 was launched in December 24, 2018 by North Design Union and Young Bird Plan, an international platform and supported by Shanghai TACTER Management and Consulting., Ltd. This competition calls for design schemes for the headquarters with multifunctional space, overall completion and high quality. Based on that, organizers expect to create a globally influential regional design center through this competition. Meanwhile, by integrating the space and industrial resources, designers shall explore and further discover how to build an innovative complex headquarters building in order to create a space for industries clusters in Chentang Slef Innovation Demonstration District.

Chentang Science & Technology Business District, located at the center of Hexi District, covers an area of 2.78 square kilometers, which used to be an old industrial zone in Tianjin. With the strategic eastward movement of the core of industrial layout in Tianjin, it has gradually shifted to the development of urban industries. In 2014, it ushered in the historical development opportunity as Tianjin was approved as the National Independent Innovation Demonstration Zone. As one of “21 parks in the district”, Chentang Innovation Demonstration Area (CIDA) expands its area coverage to 12.74 square kilometers on the basis of the original area of Chentang Science & Technology Business District. 

Site Analysis 1 – Tianjin City

Under the new situation, CIDA actively explores the new path of innovation-driven development, actively gathers enterprise entities and institutions in the field of design, intelligent manufacturing, science and technology financing, environmental protection and cultural industry represented by the establishment of the North Research Institute of NJUST and North Design Union, strengthens the linkage integration between scientific research institutes, colleges and universities and enterprises and builds the core area of innovation-based city and industry innovation center in Tianjin. A large number of high-quality enterprises and projects are stationed, providing sufficient foundation for the rapid economic development of the Area. Since 2016, all enterprises and institutions in CIDA have achieved a sales revenue of more than 100 billion yuan and paid taxes of over 5 billion yuan, making it a core bearing area of industries.

Site Analysis 2 – Chengtang Self Innovation Demonstration District

There are also oceans and lakes in the north, and 160-meter urban landscape belt in the west with two rivers. One is Fuxing River and the other is Changtai River and both of them run through the business center with an innovative cultural park located in the place where two rivers join up. Within the commercial district, the afforested area reaches to 1,000 acre.

Site Analysis 3  – the project site

The mentor will have the right to reactivate one entrant out of the Top 30 who will have an equal chance to enter into next round of contest.

2019 North Design Union Headquarters – Architecture Design Competition is looking for design teams who can break the traditional spatial mode of office buildings and redefine the headquarters for design industry. Based on internet sharing economy and interactive working mode, designers shall design innovative office mode by integrating interdisciplinary ideas ranging from user interface, ecology, interaction, industry chain integration, marketing and cooperation. Your design scheme shall include necessary functional spaces and affiliated functional spaces.


Necessary space:

  • Open offices;
  • Independent offices;
  • Dining space;
  • Research space;
  • Exhibition room;
  • Lecture hall;
  • AV room;
  • Meeting room;
  • Gymnasium;
  • Resting room;
  • Reading room.


Above spaces can be overlapped or merged depending on different requirements. And according to the design concept, designers shall arrange space combination and establish spatial relationship to meet the design requirements. (For example, NDU may need BIM research center or environmental protection research center where energy efficiency, smart lighting system and environmental protection shall be considered when designing a scheme.)


Participants can design functional spaces depending on new working modes of designers in the future. Due to sharing economy, furniture, facilities and decorations will impact on functional space. So it is suggested that participants should further deepen their schemes alternatively and make their design more concrete and persuasive.


Affiliated space and its requirements:

– More innovative:

Based on human-oriented design concept, designers shall create open and freedom modern environment. The scheme shall include innovative space, individual decorations, relaxing rest room,unique exhibition hall, and space for entertainment and fitness, which will improve people’s working efficiency and design sharing frequency.

Microsoft New-England Research Development Center

-Promote cooperation between enterprises and universities and scientific research institutes

Sharing space for meeting, working, negotiating and training shall be covered, which will fasten the development and cooperation among industries, universities and research institutes and also attract more enterprises and scientific research institutes. Besides, the space shall be worked as shared space, for example,BIM research center shall also include elements like architectural energy, smart lighting system and environmental protection.

Microsoft New-England Research Development Center

Support the development and promotion of information technology products:

The space shall be available for information and technology research and business office with new science and technology, while functions of discussion, promotion and presentation shall be included. Besides, it should be full of sense of science and technology, fashion, commercial affairs and high quality.

The final scheme for the NDU headquarters shall meet above requirements. Meanwhile, the most basic point is to keep the balance between concept and form in architectural design, reasonable functions and elevation form, general urban spirit and culture express. In your design, the elements like lighting,decorations, colors and material shall be considered. Participants shall design a comprehensive office building which is not only innovative with design industry spirit, but also forward-looking with epoch-making passion.

La Foundation Louis Vuitton

Comprehensive economic and technical index and control requirements:

– Site area: 8118.7 m2

– Actual land area within boundary: 4911.3 m2

– Planned floor area ratio: 1.55

– Planned building coverage: 35%

– Height limitation of the architecture: 30 m

– Building area: 4911.3*1.55=7612.515 m2

– Please register by logging into our website:

– For the latest information about this competition or relevant brand Gallery, please follow our official WeChat account: youngbirdplan-cn or our official Weibo account: @YoungBirdPlan; or you can directly contact the competition team by add YoungBirdPlan as one of your Wechat friends. 

– We will remain at your service here for any further questions you may have.

 Project completion: 

Participants shall finish their schemes based on aforementioned design challenge.

 Spatial innovation: 

Based on the aforementioned design challenge, the revolutionary prototype of office space shall be deduced. Referring to their working process and daily working habits, participants shall design the headquarters with unique characteristics which is different from traditional office space.


Office space in NDU shall offer possibilities for communication and interaction. During the design process, participants shall try their best to take advantage of traditional surplus space and break regular spatial arrangement so that interaction will become the theme of NDU.

 Spatial requirements: 

Based on the aforementioned function requirements, functional space shall be designed.


Apart from being stable, practicable andaesthetic, the scheme shall also be cost-saving.

 Environmental protection: 

The scheme shall also be eco-friendly based on above five principles.

 A scheme shall be presented in 4 A2 sheets in a clear, vertical way and in readable format (with a 8 mm page margin) and include following parts:

 -Descriptive text within 600 English words and economic technology index;

 -Registration No. shall be put in the upper right corner of the sheets, in Arial 20pt font;

 -A scheme shall contain plans, plan analysis,streamline and functional analysis, function description, elevations, sections and perspective drawings, detailed drawings of part site, node sample diagram and axonometric analysis diagram. All design drawings shall be expressed by analysis diagram and text description to keep the scheme readable.

 A maximum of four A2 sheets in JPG format (no larger than 20MB for each) can be submitted.

 A scheme title shall be given and files shall be submitted in the “registration No. – scheme title – sheet No.1/No.2/No.3/No.4” format.

 A scheme shall be in bilingual (for Chinese-speaking entrants) or English (forEnglish-speaking entrants).

 Do not disclose ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION including name, organization, school, etc.

 Please submit your file in the order of No.1, rendering with high-quality presentations or you may design an extra cover based on your best design drawing; (which may be printed for exhibition in the future) No. 2, plan, plan analysis and text description; No.3, streamline and groups analysis diagram; No.4, perspective drawings and other analysis diagrams including streamline node and detailed design drawings.

 Cover which should be the rendering of your scheme must be uploaded in the size of 1024*768 pixels, less than 500 KB.


Examples for submissions:

 This competition is open to professional designers and students of all ages with industry-specific background or design enthusiasts across the world;

 Each group (three members at most) shall submit only one entry;

 Each participant has to register on our website; for any question, please visit our website.

 2018.12.24         Call for entries

 2019.03.13         Registration deadline

 2019.03.20         Submission deadline

 2019.04.18         Release of shortlisted winners

 2019.04.25         Release of Top 30 & Public Voting

 2019.05.02         Release of Top 9

 2019.05.10         Release of Top 3

 2019.05.30         Release of the Champion

 Project site satellite map

 Project site drawings in the form of CAD and PDF

 General introduction of project site

 General introduction of site’s surrounding area

 Photos of surroundings

 Reference photos of relevant projects

North Design Union

Established in 2016, North Design Union (NDU) is a public service platform dedicated to promoting the development of design industry in an innovative way. With the aim of innovation, integration and mutual benefit, NDU strives to attract and develop creative and influential designers based on people-oriented concept. Besides, enterprises, universities and scientific research institutions are encouraged to combine their forces to promote systematic cooperation in production, learning, scientific research andpractical application. Furthermore, NDU keeps on improving the cooperation mechanism of design industry, while positively expands the industrial chain and value chain of enterprises to maximize their agglomeration effect. Gradually, NDU will become the most powerful union which promotes the construction of the Belt and Road initiative and the development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei,while also gives strong momentum for urban renovation and scientific and technological progress.

Official Website:


Young Bird Plan

Young Bird Plan, founded in 2013 by Isa Ye, is an international platform for high-quality design competitions. With three key elements: construction, mentor’s guidance and interdisciplinary jury, the platform makes every effort to create opportunities for young designers in China. By now, it has attracted desginers in 879 universities and colleges and 3388 design institutes from 54 countries in the world.

The platform constantly connects and meets various demands from political, business, andacademic circles and actively fills supply and demand gaps among governments, business circle and academic circle. Meanwhile it offers solutions to promote urban development and product update in order to  provide young designers with more practical opportunities.

Official Website:

Shanghai TACTER Management and Consulting., Ltd.

Founded in 1999, TACTER is one of one-stop resource integration professional service institutes in China with its headquarters in Shanghai and other offices in Beijing, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Wuhan and Xi’an.

Since its establishment, TACTER insists on developing its business in a commercial and professional way. It also features in state-owned enterprises reform management and engineering research design industry. By now, TACTER has gained great reputation among industry due to its devotion, profession and innovative practice. It has served over 1200 enterprises among which more than 1000 were engineering research design enterprises, held about 200 industry events involved more than 20 thousand people.

Focusing on engineering research design industry for over 10 years, TACTER is the only institute that is recognized by Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of the People’s Republic of China to edit five-year industry development plan and annual industry development report. Besides, the institute continuously participates in industry policy research and keep close cooperation with industry organizers including China Engineering and Consulting Association, China International Contractors Association, China Association of Urban Planning, etc.

Official Website:


Top 3 design schemes will be referred when North Design Union Headquarters is built. 

 First Prize

1 winner; 200,000 RMB (pre-tax); Certificate of Honor.

 Top 3

2 winners; 80,000 RMB each (pre-tax); Certificate of Honor.

 Top 9

6 winners; 20,000 RMB each (pre-tax); Certificate of Honor.

 People’s Choice Award

1 winners; 20,000 RMB each (pre-tax); Certificate of Honor.


Finalist certificate.


All winners (include shortlists) will be awarded YOUNG BIRDS Magazine of 5th anniversary edition;  winning schemes will be published on media platforms of Young Bird Plan and its magazines.