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BIG completes Shenzhen Energy Mansion with rippled façade

China - Aug 9, 2018 - 01:13   3634 views

Bjarke Ingels' firm BIG has completed a new office tower in Shenzhen with a rippled façade to provide the highest workplace comfort and  perform the tower in maximum climate conditions. 

The undulated twin towers is located on a prominent plot of Shenzhen, where the area is known as the tropical zone of the city. Called Shenzhen Energy Mansion, the towers, which top out at 220 and 120 meters respectively, show a sinuous silhouette reaching out to the skyline of Shenzhen.

BIG won and international design competition to design an office tower with Arup and Transsolar in 2009 and started construction in 2012. The volume and height of the new headquarters for Shenzhen Energy Company were decided by the urban masterplan for the central area. 

"The state-owned Shenzhen Energy Company is designed to look and feel at home in the cultural, political and business center of Shenzhen, while standing out as a new social and sustainable landmark at the main axis of the city," said BIG.

The towers, encompassing a total of 96,000-square-metre area, are linked to each other at a base with a 34-metre podium housing the main lobbies, a conference center, cafeteria and exhibition space. The offices are placed on the highest floors for employees towards the city view and the remaining floors are designed for rentable office space. 

Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu

Within the protruded areas of the building, the façade is stretched out—two smooth deformations create large spaces for extra good views on each floor, meeting rooms, executive clubs and staff facilities. 

The architects created a folded wall to provide a free view through clear glass in one direction and creates a condition with plenty of diffused daylight by reflecting the direct sun between the interior panels. 

To have a rippled skin, the architects smoothly played with the façade system and when the sun comes directly from the east or west, the main part of the solar rays will be able to reflected off of the glass due to the flat angle of the windows.

"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," said the firm. 

"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."

To emphasize the commercial spaces on the street level, the architects pulled a series of walls for visitors to enter these spaces from the north and south end of the buildings, while professionals enter from the front plaza into the daylight-filled lobby. 

Once inside, the linearity of the building façade continues horizontally: the pixel landscape of the stone planter boxes is in the same dimensions and arranged in the same pattern as the ripples of the building envelope. 

"Shenzhen Energy Mansion is our first realized 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.

"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," Ingels added. 

Project facts:

Name: shenzhen energy mansion
Program: commercial
Status: completed
Size: 96,000 sqm / 1,033,335 sqf
Project type: invited competition
Client: shenzhen energy company
Collaborators: Arup, Transsolar, front
Location: shenzhen, china

Project team
Partners-in-charge: bjarke ingels, andreas klok pedersen
Project manager: martin voelkle
Project leaders: song he, andre schmidt
Team: alessio zenaro, alina tamosiunaite, alysen hiller, ana merino, andreas geisler johansen, annette jensen, armor rivas, balaj iiulian, brian yang, baptiste blot, buster christiansen, cecilia ho, christian alvarez, christin svensson, claudia hertrich, claudio moretti, cory mattheis, dave brown, dennis rasmussen, doug stechschulte, eskild nordbud, felicia guldberg, fred zhou, gaetan brunet, gül ertekin, henrik kania, iris van der heide, james schrader, jan magasanik, jan borgstrøm, jeppe ecklon, jelena vucic, joão albuquerque, jonas mønster, karsten hansen, malte kloe, mikkel marcker stubgaard, michael andersen, michal kristof, min ter lim, oana simionescu, nicklas a. rasch, philip sima, rasmus pedersen, rune hansen, rui huang, sofia gaspar, stanley lung, sun ming lee, takuya hosokai, todd bennett, xi chen, xing xiong, xiao lu, xu li, yijie dan, zoltan kalaszi.
Project leader, concept: cat huang
Team, concept: alex cozma, kuba snopek, fan zhang, flavien menu

All images © Chao Zhang, unless otherwise stated.

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