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ZHA sees off big names to win HQ for Chinese phone maker

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Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has been selected ahead of BIG, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and others in an international competition for a new headquarters for Chinese mobile phone manufacturer OPPO in Shenzhen

ZHA’s victorious winning design features four interconnected towers rising to 200m and providing 185,000m² of floorspace for the expanding company, which launched its first product in 2008.

Two towers will feature open-plan offices and will be connected to a pair of external service towers containing the vertical circulation via an enormous 20-storey lobby.

Other firms shortlisted for the prestigious commission included Copenhagen-based Henning Larsen Architects and New York’s SOM.

The LEED Gold scheme also includes a 10th floor ‘Sky Plaza’ featuring restaurants and leisure facilities, and a ground-floor plaza with an art gallery, shops and a connection to the city’s subway system.

The announcement comes shortly after Shenzhen Municipality launched an international contest for a landmark new 167,000m² waterfront opera house.

Shenzhen is a major Pearl River Delta city, just north of Hong Kong. It grew rapidly following its designation as China’s first special economic zone in 1979 and has a population of around 11.9 million.

One year ago, Foster + Partners won an international contest for a new headquarters for China Merchants Bank nearby. The other bidders were Mecanoo, KPF, SOM, GMP and local practice Aube.

Architects’ view

Zaha Hadid Architects' competition-winning proposal for a new headquarters for Chinese cell phone manufacturer OPPO in Shenzhen

Zaha Hadid Architects’ competition-winning proposal for a new headquarters for Chinese cell phone manufacturer OPPO in Shenzhen

Zaha Hadid Architects’ competition-winning proposal for a new headquarters for Chinese cell phone manufacturer OPPO in Shenzhen

Conceived as four interconnected towers reaching a height of 200m (42 floors), the 185,000m² design incorporates two towers of flexible, open-plan spaces linked by a 20-storey lobby, and two external service towers providing vertical circulation. Orientated to maximise the views over Shenzhen Bay, the towers taper inwards at lower levels creating large civic spaces at street level.

Locating the towers’ service cores externally frees the centre of each floor from obstructions; providing uninterrupted views throughout the building that will enhance interaction between employees.

Large atrium spaces unite all occupants through visual connectivity, helping to foster collaboration between different departments of the company. The abundance of natural light, varied working environments and diversity of routes for staff and visitors to move through the building are all conducive to creative engagement and spontaneity.

Developed as a new civic space for the city with a public walkway diagonally traversing its centre, OPPO’s headquarters will include a landscaped plaza, art gallery, shops, restaurants and a direct link to the adjacent station of Shenzhen’s subway network.

The 10th-floor Sky Plaza will provide local residents, visitors and OPPO employees with varied dining, leisure and entertainment facilities, while the rooftop Sky Lab will be a popular public space with spectacular views over one of the world’s most dynamic cities.

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