As companies like Google and Apple make plans for huge, sprawling campuses in Silicon Valley, Chinese Internet giant Tencent is looking forward to a new office building with an innovative approach to design.
The “vertical campus” that architectural firm NBBJ designed for the Shenzhen, China-based company involves two towers that will stand at heights of more than 800 feet, connected by three bridges spanning the street below. It will house the Internet portals 12,000+ employees.
“The Tencent building design essentially takes a campus model with its green spaces, quads, and amenities that are usually on the ground plane and flips them vertically,” NBBJ said to Business Insider. “Three interlinking bridges — sky streets — spread key social spaces across the organisation.”
The idea is that the inverse design will help break down office social hierarchies.
“By relating to the towers as a vertical campus, the central circulation breaks down the building hierarchy and therefore, any implied social hierarchy, aligning the headquarters with today’s flattening social and workplace structures,” NBBJ said.
Each of the connecting bridges will have its own theme.
The theme of the top bridge is “knowledge,” and, fittingly, it will be home to the company’s libraries and conference rooms. The second, middle bridge will be themed “health” and will house basketball courts and a swimming pool.
Outdoor green space will top each of the bridges.
Inside, there will be a variety of spaces for employees to explore, with foosball tables and swings among some of the more fun perks offered.
Construction has already begun on the site, and work is expected to be completed by 2016.
NBBJ has become a mainstay among large tech companies like Tencent in recent years. The architecture firm is also behind the glass-domed “biospheres” that will be Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle, as well as the new 1.1 million-square-foot Googleplex in Silicon Valley.
When deciding on an office design, the firm analyses how each company’s employees interact with their workspace. That data-driven approach is something that’s attractive to tech companies.
“A lot of our clients have cultures around data-driven decision-making,” NBBJ managing director Scott Wyatt said to Wired. “They feel that if we’re going to make a statement of a preference or a direction, we need to prove it.”
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