International architecture firm Büro Ole Scheeren has revealed the Shenzhen Wave, the new headquarters for ZTE, a telecommunications and technology company in China. Shenzhen Wave reimagines the urban cityscape as an interactive and integrated spatial ecosystem of the future hovering above ground level.
Recently approved by the mayor and planning department, the project is located at the entry to the Shenzhen Bay Super HQ, a fully master-planned business district in southern China.
Imagining a new archetype for the urban workplace, the building’s design has been conceived as a dynamic, living organism that generates innovation, cutting-edge ideas, and new ways of working and living together.
The Shenzhen Wave is perceived as a piece of city, responding to its context, and integrating with the local community. As the building floats above street level, a new plaza beneath the suspended volume connects the waterfront to the urban fabric behind and gives public space back to the city. On the other side of the plaza, a landscaped mound and amphitheater create the ‘Culture Node,’ bringing light, activity, and people down to the lower levels, where an exhibition space and cafeteria are located.
Sustainability, both environmental and social, defines the core values of this headquarters for the future, the firm said. The building becomes a dynamic organism synthesizing spaces for formal and informal work, research, innovation, and retreat into a new type of architecture for the city. The Shenzhen Wave seeks to exemplify how cutting-edge design and thinking can redefine the workplace and encourage innovation within and around individuals, companies, cities, and beyond.
A sinuous diagonal ‘Wave’ cuts through the building and links its multiple levels, lifting the structure off the ground and cresting up through the roof. This key element becomes an open and experiential pathway through the building for light, views, and circulation. The spatial organization of the building both physically embodies and simultaneously amplifies the company’s culture of interaction and innovation.
The ‘Lobby Node’ at ground level, which houses the main entrance to the headquarters, is connected by a diagonal atrium to the ‘Club Node’ in the cresting wave rising above the roof of the building. Here, the ZTE Club, a space flooded with natural light incorporates opportunities for individuals and groups to meet, rest, or socialize. There is also a gym, café, and bar with a roof deck embedded in a tropical green environment.
Flexibility is at the core of the project: a series of vast, open floor plates, each larger than the size of a football field, are piled up, shifted, and calibrated to create the ‘Work Stack.’ Hovering above the ground plane, each floor is able to be sub-divided, programmed, and occupied. Outdoor terraces on each level seamlessly integrate indoor and open-air outdoor environments, with the connective ‘Wave’ traversing and interconnecting the stacked floor plates.
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