BIG’s Shenzhen Energy Mansion completes in China

BIG’s Shenzhen Energy Mansion completes in China

BIG’s Shenzhen Energy Mansion has completed in China. The undulating headquarters for the Shenzhen Energy Company has a rippled skin that has been developed by BIG, Arup and Transsolar to improve the sustainable performance of the building and create a progressive workplace fit for the local subtropical climate.

The building provides 96,000sq m of office space within its two towers that are linked at the base by a 34m podium housing the main lobbies, a conference centre, cafeteria and exhibition space.

The folded facade works to reduce solar loads and glare by balancing a pleated pattern of closed and open parts that vary in opacity – blocking sunlight, providing insulation, yet still revealing views out across Shenzhen.

Shenzhen Energy Mansion facade

The neat, curved facade of the Shenzhen Energy Mansion 

The clever solution to the climate and required working conditions for China’s biggest tech and innovation hub was engineered with Arup and Transsolar. The team won the international design competition in 2009, and in 2012, construction had started.

‘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 fulfill the performance,’ said Bjarke Ingels, founding partner, BIG.

The shape of the building is subtley pushed and pulled across its form to create uniquely-shaped spaces with wider views. At ground level, the boundary of the building has been unfolded and opened up to pull in visitors from the street, while subtle protusions in the form further up the building open up large rooms for meeting rooms, executive clubs and staff facilities.

Shenzhen skyline with BIG new building

The building contributes to Shenzhen’s curved skyline. Photography: Chao Zhang

The volume and height of the building was defined by the Shenzhen urban masterplan, so the building fits smoothly into the curve of the skyline.

‘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,’ said Ingels. §

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