BIG’s Origami in Shenzhen, China


[click images for larger view]

Our ninjas over at BIG [in a collaboration with ARUP and Transsolar] have been awarded first prize in yet another international design competition – this time to design the new headquarters for the Shenzhen Energy Company [dubbed the ‘Shenzhen International Energy Mansion’]. The goal of the competition was to find a sustainable and energy efficient solution to the Shezhen Energy Company’s need for a new HQ – specifically dealing with the tropical climate of the region, and integrating the 96,000 square foot project with the surrounding environment.


“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.”

~ Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner, BIG


The towers [the taller of which reaches 200 meters] utilize “practical and efficient” floor plates, and get creative in the facade – which is envisioned as a folded, origami-like skin which both shades the interior spaces from the harshest sunlight while integrating solar thermal panels to reduce the structure’s energy consumption. While protecting the interior from the South/West solar exposure [click for diagram], this ‘folding’ facade opens view to the Northwest [click for diagram] – and allow for indirect natural light to penetrate into some of the interior.


“By folding the facade in an origami like shape we achieve a structure with closed and open parts. The closed parts provide a highly-insulated facade, while blocking the direct sunlight. On the outside the closed parts are fitted with solar thermal heat panels that power the air conditioning and provide dehumidification for the working spaces.

The folded wall provides a free view through clear glass in one direction creating a condition with plenty of diffused daylight by reflecting the direct sunlight between the interior panels. Even with direct sun from east or west, the majority of the solar rays reflect off the glass, due to the flat angle of the window. The reflected rays increase the efficiency of solar thermal energy panels. The combination of minimal passive solar heating and active solar panels reduce the energy consumption by more than 60%.”


Most noticeably ‘unique’ about the design [at first glance] seems to be the subtle bend in the curtain wall, created by floor plates that push out from the facade [seen in the model images, above]. I can only assume that those are some kind of public or lobby spaces – that, or some people are getting some ridiculously dope office space.

SEM_Section A_1-1000_UK CN

::visit AMNP’s Flickr page for more images::

::all images, info, + quoted text courtesy of BIG::

Posted: September 10th, 2009
at 10:39am by orangemenace

Tagged with , , , ,

Categories: architecture,green arch,towering pagodas

Comments: 2 comments


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  1. What does the interior look like in this case? Is this just a extended wing? Or are there actually functions assigned to each level?


    11 Sep 09 at 11:53 am


  2. ah – questions i would love to have answered, too. no idea tho.


    11 Sep 09 at 11:55 am



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