Located in the city of Hangzhou, the new OPPO headquarters, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), stands out through its refined aesthetics and innovative technology. Envisioned as the future work environment of OPPO, it is designed on a triple bottom line of economically, ecologically and socially sustainable building.
Located between a natural lake, an urban centre, and a 10,000 square-metre park, the OPPO R&D headquarters tower will be an iconic landmark and gateway to the Future Sci-Tech City and Hangzhou itself. Hangzhou is characterised by its humid subtropical climate with four distinct seasons. This explains the all-glass exterior, given the need for air-tightness for certain months of the year.
“Technology at its best should be a seamless extension of life. The new OPPO R&D headquarters embodies this notion, sitting with ease in the scenic wetlands of Hangzhou, while negotiating between the dense urban fabric on one side and the natural landscape on the other. It will be an architectural manifestation of an OPPO product: effortlessly elegant, while elevating the quality of human life in the city,” said Brian Yang, Partner, BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group.
The O-Tower is designed not just as a symbolic gesture to represent the brand but translate a traditional office slab into one with perfect depth for access to daylight. The designers use the cylindrical courtyard to minimise the external surface area towards the south, while still maximising views out towards the nature. The tower’s geometry is optimised to reduce the heat gain and the adaptive façade louvers are oriented according to sun angles. The façade will reduce solar gain by up to 52%, providing significant savings for cooling loads and increasing thermal comfort for the staff, while at the same time reducing glare, reflectivity and light pollution.
Ingels continues, “We have attempted to imagine the future work environment of OPPO to be sustainable on a triple bottom line: economically, ecologically and socially. The compact form folding in on itself provides large flexible floorplates with the daylight access and fresh air of a slender tower. The adaptive louvered façade omits incoming solar glare and thermal heat gain, enhancing the passive performance of the building. The tilted loop of the warped roof creates a social shortcut for the OPPO employees and their collaborators connecting the ground to the summit. And the central oasis and the surrounding wetland park expands the public realm into the heart of the complex. Each element is intrinsically intertwined forming the melted loop that is perceivable at all scales – from the urban landmark to the human experience—becoming a manifestation of the design simplicity that is an intrinsic part of OPPO’s brand.”
The highlight of the development is the public courtyard at the ground floor which hopes to act as an urban living room for the city. As part of the large park, the central green and lush landscape extends out to the waterfront. The ground floor is designed to be in continuity, to lead visitors and staff through lobbies and exhibition spaces into the park and improve the Human-Nature symbiosis.
Another design feature which is essential to the O-tower is a series of triple-height void spaces and interconnected terraces under the sloping O roof surface, creating visual and physical connection between floors. These social spaces aim to bring biophilic elements to the interiors and staff out of the facades, where one can enjoy the views while populating and activating the skyline of the city.
OPPO’s R&D headquarters has all the right intention to stand tall among the plethora of buildings. The building aims to create synergies, both ecologically and socially, and hopefully avoid the preoccupation with short term results while in the long term create value, appropriateness and significance.
Traffic, MEP, VT consultant: WSP
Structure consultant: RBS
Facade consultant: RFR
Client project manager: CCGT
Lighting designer: BPI
Programming consultant: Savills
Foodservice planner: TFP
Traffic evaluation agency: UAD
BIG is a Copenhagen, New York, London and Barcelona based group of architects, designers, urbanists, landscape professionals, interior and product designers, researchers and inventors. The office is currently involved in a large number of projects throughout Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East. BIG’s architecture emerges out of a careful analysis of how contemporary life constantly evolves and changes. Not least due to the influence from multicultural exchange, global economical flows and communication technologies that all together require new ways of architectural and urban organization. We believe that in order to deal with today’s challenges, architecture can profitably move into a field that has been largely unexplored. A pragmatic utopian architecture that steers clear of the petrifying pragmatism of boring boxes and the naïve utopian ideas of digital formalism. Like a form of programmatic alchemy we create architecture by mixing conventional ingredients such as living, leisure, working, parking and shopping. By hitting the fertile overlap between pragmatic and utopia, we architects once again find the freedom to change the surface of our planet, to better fit contemporary life forms.