The Future Of Office? This Dual-Tower HQ's Vertical Amenities Tackle The Latest Space Challenges
The latest in open-plan workspace and office amenities isn't just for sprawling West Coast tech campuses with acreage to spare.
In its new twin-tower headquarters, which rises 50 and 39 stories over Shenzhen, China, tech giant Tencent Holdings employs some unusual design elements to offer the kind of open space usually found in more horizontal office developments.
Multi-story bridges connecting the two towers provide some of the 2.6M SF structure's open space and amenities. There are smaller open-space areas scattered throughout the buildings, which together can house about 10,000 employees.
Each bridge contains a specific set of facilities shared between the towers, design publication Dezeen reports.
The structure's "culture link" is at the base and introduces Tencent's corporate culture by including a large reception area and an exhibition space.
The headquarters' "health link," which begins on the 21st floor, provides a running track that loops between the two buildings, along with a gym, a basketball court, table tennis, foosball and a rock-climbing wall.
The "knowledge link," beginning on the 34th floor, features rooftop gardens, a dining hall and Tencent University, a corporate training center.
The complex is among a new wave of buildings in China that seek to encourage a stronger sense of community by featuring more open gathering spaces, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Chinese cities tend to be dense urban areas with land at a premium, meaning that the adoption of open-space areas needs to be in a vertical context.
"The challenge of the high-rise building is it’s inherently anti-connection, a series of these stacked plates,” Jonathan Ward, a Los Angeles-based design partner at architecture firm NBBJ and the lead architect for the project, told the WSJ.
NBBJ designed the Amazon spheres campus in Downtown Seattle.
Tencent HQ also features a number of advanced technologies to make office life more efficient. Facial recognition technology is used to operate elevators, and workers can check shuttle-bus schedules and book conference rooms using a WeChat account for employees.