The 96,000m2 office development for 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. The volume and height of the new headquarters for Shenzhen Energy Company was predetermined by the urban masterplan for the central area. The development consists of two towers rising 220m to the north and 120m to the south, linked together at the feet by a 34m podium. BIG developed an undulating building envelope which creates a rippled skin around both towers and breaks away from the traditional glass curtain wall.
By folding parts of the envelope that would reduce solar loads and glare, a façade with closed and open parts oscillate between transparency to one side and opacity to the other. The closed parts provide high-insulation while blocking direct sunlight and providing views out. As a result, the towers appear as a classical shape with an organic pattern from a distance and as an elegant pleated structure from close-up. The sinuous direction of the façade corresponds to the solar orientation: it maximizes north-facing opening for natural light and views, while minimizing exposure on the sunny sides. This sustainable facade system reduces the overall energy consumption of the building without any moving parts or complicated technology. The folded wall provides 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.