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Building A Workplace for All

NBBJ have been selected to design the new vivo Headquarters in Shenzhen, China with a 32-storey spiralling tower that integrates nature, health and equal access to amenities.

Building A Workplace for All

A striking tower scored with an elegant spiral of exterior gardens, is the design selected for the new vivo headquarters by Award-winning architectural and design firm, NBBJ. A beautiful new build in Shenzhen’s dynamic Bao’an district, the design, introduces an inspired concept for work environments that prioritises the health and wellbeing of employees.

“We know that today’s workers thrive in ‘whole life’ environments that integrate nature, health and work. Our design for the vivo headquarters is the physical embodiment of that ethos – fluid, sustainable and centred around the wellbeing of those who use the space.” explains Robert Mankin, Partner in Charge of Workplace Design at NBBJ. “

The new headquarters is designed to integrate within the urban fabric of the neighbourhood; be friendly and not overbearing; and to share, not block the coastal views. The vivo tower spirals upward, 150 meters –  32 storeys – and features a striking, expansive glass exterior with horizontal panels that provide expansive views to the ocean and are energy efficient. The exterior is scored with an elegant spiral from the ground level to the top that unifies the different elements of the building.

Emerging from a welcoming public plaza with a retail element, grand stairs from a sunken garden to level five connects the flagship vivo store, retail entrances, eateries, conference levels and an employee cafeteria. The building coils upward to “The Atrium”, a multiple-level collection of terraces and gardens at the middle levels; before finishing at the penthouse area offering event spaces, conference rooms and sweeping views of Qianhai Bay.

The design reflects a commitment to providing access to nature and throughout the campus, promoting health, wellbeing and reinforcing sustainability goals. Greenery is found on every level, and green hubs are strategically placed throughout the building that connect to each level’s office pantry and kitchen, providing a place for employees to connect with nature while enjoying breaks and meals.

NBBJ utilised an innovative stepping approach to landscaping the tower that reflects the ecosystems and multiple biomes of Southern China, transitioning from forest floor to mountaintop. The lower terraces of the tower have the sparser, forest edge understory trees. Moving up into the middle atrium, the plantings feature more dense and dramatic subtropical mountain forest plants. The upper level terraces shift to a more sparse, rugged alpine forest, reflecting the diverse native ecosystem of Shenzhen.

“vivo is a next-gen technology company, and the new headquarters introduces a shared vision of next-gen workplace design,” says Vivian Ngo, Principal at NBBJ. “Our experience in high-rise design and our research into the field provides insights into how to optimise the work environment. We worked closely with vivo to fully understand its vision and work culture, and to express those ideals through the design. Together, we are pushing past antiquated ideas of work culture and anticipating the needs of the next generation of employees with larger personal spaces, views for everyone while they work – not just the top executives – and constant connection to nature and the outdoors.”

From the street level on up, the new building is intended to be warm and welcoming. An arrival podium starting at the ground level creates an inviting environment for employees, visitors and shoppers. The building is angled to be engaged with city’s adjacent green belt, further enhancing the pedestrian experience. vivo visitors and employees enter the building at the street level, making their way up the grand staircase and escalators to the main lobby at the 3rd level where they are welcomed and rewarded with expanded views of the ocean.

Each floor is designed for flexibility and fostering connections that lead to creativity, productivity and overall wellbeing. In addition to the extra-large workspaces, each floor has collaboration areas for work and socialising, and quieter, relaxation areas with hints of nature. The openness of the floor plan offers flexibility and the option to adapt for changing work modes and future proofing.

To support regional efforts to protect against rising flood waters due to climate change as well as occasional flooding during typhoons, NBBJ has proposed sustainability features that incorporate the “Sponge City” concept. The design utilises permeable surfaces and landscaping wherever possible to promote drainage back into the ground; and rainwater is captured in underground tanks where it can eventually be re-used. The geometry of the building creates self-shading in the summer and added daylight in the winter.

Construction of the vivo headquarters is set to begin in May 2020 and be substantially completed by Fall 2025.

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