China Internet giant Tencent building audacious new headquarters


In Silicon Valley, companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google are building big, sprawling campuses. Despite being in what feels like an overbuilt region, the companies continue to find open spaces to extend their footprint.

But in Shenzhen, China, Internet goliath Tencent finds itself in even tighter quarters. So when it decided to build a new headquarters, it needed to go up, rather than out.

The company hired architectural firm NBBJ, which is also designing Amazon’s distinct biodome campus in downtown Seattle. The firm’s idea: Try to take the concept of a big, open campus and turn it on its side in the form a tower.


The result is a pair of towers that total 2.6 million square feet of space and 55 floors.

The concern about high rises for many tech companies is that they will segregate and isolate employees. Many of the new Silicon Valley campuses are designed with the idea of getting employees to mix and have spontaneous interactions that will spark creativity and innovation.

To overcome that, the two towers are connected by swirling sky bridges where hopefully employees will interact. Each sky bridge has different themes, such as health, culture and knowledge. They include plazas and restaurants and fitness centers.

Set to be complete in 2016, the new HQ will have space for 12,000 employees.


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