BIG to design sustainable skyscraper in Shenzhen, China (DK/CN)

BIG, in collaboration with ARUP and Transsolar, was awarded first-prize in an international competition to design Shenzhen International Energy Mansion, the regional headquarters for the Shenzhen Energy Company.

Shenzhen International Energy Mansion

The 96,000-m² project will be integrated with the surrounding environment and designed to withstand the tropical climate of the city.

The purpose of the international design competition was to find a sustainable and efficient solution for the Shenzhen Energy Company office headquarters. Located in the center of Shenzhen, the 96,000-m² project will be integrated with the surrounding environment and designed to withstand the tropical climate of the city. BIG's winning proposal was selected by the jury experts from Shenzhen Municipal Planning Bureau chaired by Alejandro Zaera-Polo and client representatives.

The headquarters rises 200 meters creating a new landmark visible from the highway in the cultural, political and business center of Shenzhen. BIG envisions combining a practical and efficient floor plan layout with a sustainable facade that both, passively and actively reduce the energy consumption of the building. The facade is conceived as a folded skin that shades the office complex from direct sunlight and integrates solar thermal panels, reducing the overall energy consumption of the building.

Design evolution
The skyscraper has evolved as an economically efficient way to provide flexible, functional and well illuminated workspaces for dense populations of professionals. It has, however, evolved at a time when air conditioning and electric lighting are merely seen as modern solutions to modern demand, without thought being given to environmental consequences or energy shortages.

Today, the skyscraper needs to evolve into a new sustainable species. It must retain its highly evolved qualities such as flexibility, daylight, views, density and general usability while advancing new and untested attributes such as ways of combining maximum daylight exposure with minimal sunshine exposure or integrated ways of limiting the need for cooling.

"We propose to make the Shenzhen Energy Mansion the first specimen of a new species of office buildings that exploits the buildings interface with the external elements - sun, daylight, humidity, wind – as a source to create maximum comfort and quality inside. The Shenzhen Energy Mansion will appear as a subtle mutation of the classic skyscraper – a natural evolution rather than a desperate revolution," says Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner, BIG.

Curtain wall
The traditional glass facade has little insulation leaving the offices overheated by direct sunlight. This results in excessive energy consumption for air conditioning and the need for a heavy glass coating that makes the view seem permanently dull and grey.

"The towers are based on an efficient and well-proven floor plan enclosed in a skin specifically modified and optimized for the local climate. By focusing on the envelope, the façade, we are able to enhance the sustainable perform

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