First Automotive Works


Research & Development Center

Changchun, Jilin, China

5,037,505 GSF, 468,000 M2

Architecture, Engineering, Interior Architecture, Lab Planning, Landscape Architecture, Lighting Design, Master Planning, Programming

“The facility will enhance our technological R&D capabilities, accelerate development of home-grown passenger cars, and strengthen our confidence and resolution to participate in the world competition.”

—Xu Jianyi, FAW President


To meet First Automotive Works goal of a world-class facility producing 2.3 million vehicles annually, SmithGroupJJR responded with a contiguous complex on a site equivalent to 95 football fields. The configuration fosters collaboration among a projected employee population of 7,000 while addressing employee safety and health concerns.

It also reflects the company's position as China's preeminent automotive enterprise. The project incorporates an administration building, a comprehensive research and development center, a project team office building, two 2,500-vehicle parking structures, and a central distribution center supported by 1,100 meters of tunnel network to serve the entire facility.

The design team incorporated traditional Chinese planning principles, developing the facility's programmatic organization and orientation according to ancient methods of balancing the flow of energies within a space. This informs decisions regarding circulation paths, placement and number of entrances, views and sight lines, materials selection, shapes of building components, and design of the surrounding natural environment.