BIG Completes Dual Shenzhen Skyscrapers

The rippling towers ascend from a shared, 111-foot-tall podium in central Shenzhen. All images courtesy Chao Zhang.

The Shenzhen Energy Mansion, a pair of rippling skyscrapers, has been completed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) in the Chinese city’s cultural, political, and business center. Crafted in collaboration with ARUP and Transsolar, the volumes rise 720 and nearly 400 feet, respectively, from a shared 111-foot-tall podium.

Images courtesy Chao Zhang.

Totaling 1.03 million square feet, the office development is defined by a rippling façade that bulges occasionally before peeling away as it nears the base to create entrances. The external skin protects against solar gain and glare, and responds to the sun’s movement with north-facing openings and minimal exposure elsewhere. Street-level openings provide public access to commercial spaces, while employees enter via the front plaza into a sundrenched lobby.

Images courtesy Chao Zhang.

“Shenzhen Energy Mansion is our first realized example of ‘engineering without engines’—the idea that we can engineer the dependence on machinery out of our buildings and let architecture fulfill the performance,” Ingels said in a statement. “Shenzhen Energy Mansion appears as a subtle mutation of the classic skyscraper and exploits the building’s interface with the external elements: sun, daylight, humidity and wind to create maximum comfort and quality inside. A natural evolution that looks different because it performs differently.”