This Chinese Internet Giant Is Building a Campus in the Sky

ByVivian Giang

When China's hottest tech company wants to build a Google-like complex in one of the country's fastest-growing and busiest cities, it builds up, not out.

Way up, that is.

Tencent, the fourth-largest Internet company in the world, wanted a collegiate-like, outdoor atmosphere that would inspire the same brilliant ideas coming out of tech giants Apple and Google. The problem is that Apple and Google have plenty of space in their suburban neighborhoods.Tencent, in the crowded city of Shenzhen, does not.

But the company's not ready to give up on its dream of "having your cake and eating it too," so U.S.-based architecture design firm NBBJ — the firm behind Amazon's upcoming biosphere headquarters — was chosen to design a structure with more than 55 floors, 2.6 million square feet of space and room for at least 12,000 employees. The tower-like building is slated for completion in 2016.

According to Fast Company, this trend in vertical tech campuses isn't going to end soon when you take into account that 70% of the global population is expected to live in cities by 2050. As more and more young people prefer to live in cities, companies that want to attract the best talent may have to relocate as well. 

The layout will have large sky bridges acting as quads, places where employees can mingle. There will even be different spaces allocated to promoting specific topics for discussion like "culture," "health" and "knowledge." For example, the "health" space will feature an area with a juice bar, game rooms, a basketball court and a fitness center.

There's no saying if these tower-like structures will result in the same kind of brilliant ideas that came out of Google's sprawling campus, but we can all agree that the building is quite impressive.

Here's another look at NBBJ's design, which includes two separate buildings connected by three large sky bridges.

Image Credit (all): Fast Company