The new home for Shenzhen Energy Company looks different and performs unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. The tower’s skin is developed to maximise the sustainable performance and workplace comfort in the local subtropical climate of China’s tech and innovation hub in Shenzhen.
The 96,000 square metre office development for the state-owned Shenzhen Energy Company is designed to look and feel at home in the cultural, political and business centre of Shenzhen, whilst standing out as a new social and sustainable landmark at the main axis of the city. Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) won an international design competition for Shenzhen Energy Mansion along with ARUP and Transsolar in 2009 and construction commenced in 2012.
“Shenzhen Energy Mansion is our first realised example of ‘engineering without engines’ – the idea that we can engineer the dependence on machinery out of our buildings and let architecture fulfil the performance. Shenzhen Energy Mansion appears as a subtle mutation of the classic skyscraper and exploits the building’s interface with the external elements: sun, daylight, humidity and wind to create maximum comfort and quality inside. A natural evolution that looks different because it performs differently,” announced Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner, BIG.
The new headquarters for Shenzhen Energy Company consists of two towers, which rise 220m to the north and 120m to the south, of which are both linked together at the feet by a 34m podium. The podium building itself features a lobby, a conference centre, a cafeteria and an exhibition space. Together with the neighbouring towers, the new towers form a continuously curved skyline, marking the centre of Shenzhen, the city known as China’s ‘Silicon Valley’.
BIG developed an undulating building skin which creates a rippled casing around both towers and breaks away from the traditional glass curtain wall. Designed to reduce solar loads and glare, the façade was formed with parts that oscillate open and close between transparency on one side and opaque on the other. The closed parts provide high-insulation while blocking direct sunlight and providing views outwards. As a result, the towers appear as a classic shape with an organic pattern from a distance and as an elegant pleated structure from close-up. The sustainably designed façade system reduces the overall energy consumption of the building without any moving parts or complicated technology.
The offices for Shenzhen Energy Company are placed on the highest floors for employees to enjoy views to the city, while the remaining floors are rentable office space. Within the protruded areas of the building, the façade is stretched out, featuring two smooth deformations which create large spaces for unique views no matter which floor you are on. As the sun sets, the changing transparency and the curved lines of the façade create an almost wood-like texture or a scene of vertical terraced hills. The slits that open between the curtain wall to reveal special spaces such as boardrooms, executive offices and breakout areas, lend the building a distinct character from different parts of the city.
More information on this project can be found here.