The project was to design a new headquarters on a virgin beachfront site for Netdragon Websoft, one of the top online gaming companies in China. The creative nature and the average young age of the employees of the company called for an office building filled with fun and dynamic energy. To cope with a strict height limit, and to minimize the construction impact on the beach front site, OPEN explored many different forms before finally dwelled on a flying saucer like volume floating above the ground. The circular form has the smallest footprint with a given volume.
The heart of the headquarters is occupied by two overlapping centers, one solid and one void. The solid center with cantilevering boxes stacked up along a vertical core contains the central nerve system of the organization, including the head office, board rooms and chief officer’s quarters. The void center is an atrium space that organizes all the supporting but fun programs for the surrounding offices, including game rooms, screening room, gym, lounge, swimming pool, cafes and so on. It is literally a void filled with energy and joy. Outside this “fun core” and organized along the periphery of the circular plan is the open plan office space, which takes advantage of the daylight and the natural ventilation. Employees can easily take a break and recharge their creativity at the “fun core”. The two centers and the non-hierarchical office space are emblematic of the company’s intrinsic structure of organization.
The design of the building incorporates a set of studied and suitable green technologies, both passive and active means, with the goal of minimizing the carbon footprint of the new development on the already vulnerable eco system.