Tencent Seafront Towers in Shenzhen, China. Courtesy NBBJ.
Tencent, the world’s third-largest Internet company, is designing a new twin-towers headquarters to be located in Hi-tech Park in the Nanshan District of Shenzhen. Thornton Tomasetti is providing façade engineering consulting services to the architect. The new towers will nearly quadruple Tencent’s current office space and will accommodate an additional 12,000 employees.
Although the design calls for 15 skin systems—unitized curtain walls, long-span glass walls, ETFE pneumatic cushion atria, and cable-net walls— Thornton Tomasetti helped take the project from concept design to design development in only seven months. Using Rhino software, Thornton Tomasetti met the challenge of designing box frames that are easy to fabricate, assemble, hoist and install. In addition, the design was developed to handle water and wind loads of a typhoon zone.
A notable architectural feature is the saw-tooth shaped box panels that cover the façade and extend outward by up to 1.5 meters from the building structure. They create a textured aesthetic and support sustainability objectives by self-shading to reduce energy consumption during the hot summer. The buildings are expected to achieve LEED Gold and to perform as a China Green Building 2 Star accredited green building.
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