Shenzhen-based internet giant Tencent is attempting to build a futuristic smart mega city development in Shenzhen, China.
Global design firm NBBJ has won an international competition to design “Net City”, a 2-million-square meter master planned Shenzhen district for Tencent, China’s largest internet company.
Net City is envisioned to meet Tencent’s growing office needs in the upcoming years.
According to the company, “Net City” will place the needs of people and the environment before cars in an interconnected, organic ecosystem.
NBBJ is no stranger to “massive.” They had previously completed Tencent’s headquarters, a sky bridge-linked high-rise “vertical campus” complex in 2018, also in Shenzhen.
The mega-urban plan spreads across an undeveloped 320-acre peninsula on Shenzhen Bay roughly the size as the Principality of Monaco.
Envisioned as a “city of the future,” Net City will prioritize “human-centric” and sustainable design through the inclusion of an extensive public transit network, a green corridor and energy generating systems.
The abundance of greenery will also help the project meet the goals of China’s Sponge City Initiative so that stormwater runoff is collected and managed throughout the campus.
The mixed-use masterplan covers roughly the same size and shape of Midtown Manhattan and will be centered on a new Tencent building that is surrounded by a living quarter with schools and an assortment of retail spaces and other amenities.
At roughly the size and shape of Midtown Manhattan, Net City features a new Tencent office, a residential neighborhood, schools, retail and other amenities to provide working and living conveniences for the community.
The scale, height and spacing of the buildings varies organically, ranging in height from one floor to 30, to create differentiated spaces and experiences, and to provide strong sightlines to nature, other buildings and the rest of the city.
Inside Net City, vehicles are diverted into basement levels around each plot and separated into fast and slow traffic zones. A green corridor that connects all plots is reserved for pedestrians, bicycles and autonomous vehicles. A public transit network accommodates subway stops, high-capacity buses and ferries.
Sustainability is a primary driver of the design, from photovoltaic panels on rooftops, to sensors that track environmental performance and flooding, to the comprehensive transportation network that prioritizes public transit, bicycles and pedestrian access.
The design also meets the goals of China’s “Sponge City” initiative by collecting water on campus, managing runoff and flooding, and planting mangrove trees at the shoreline’s edge. Public green spaces are found throughout the plan and include commons, groves, wetlands and recreation parks.
Client: Tencent Holdings Ltd.