#DI Speaker Bjarke Ingels’ O-Tower Combines Architectural Prowess and Cutting-Edge Sustainability

This future landmark by BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) embodies design elegance and innovative technology.

Designed by BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) as headquarters for China’s largest smartphone company – OPPO – the O-Tower exemplifies the company’s design philosophy of balancing refined aesthetics and innovative technology and BIG’s reputation for creating unforgettable modern monuments. 

The building, which will be environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable, will serve as an iconic gateway to Hangzhou’s Future Sci-Tech City. Hangzhou, a hub for innovation, is also home to China’s most popular natural attractions including three of the world’s 55 UNESCO Heritage sites. It has been shaped by a rich cultural history of technology, information exchange and trade for over 5,000 years and is one of the origin sites of the Silk Road and Grand Canal. These elements have informed the building’s interaction with the city. 


BIG began working with OPPO at the beginning of 2019 to create a building that would express the brand’s ‘elevation of life through technological artistry’, underpinned by its vision of sustainability. 

“Technology at its best should be a seamless extension of life. The new OPPO R&D Headquarters embodies this notion, sitting with ease in the scenic wetlands of Hangzhou, while negotiating between the dense urban fabric on one side and the natural landscape on the other,” says Brian Yang, Partner at BIG.

The building will rest between a natural lake, an urban center, and a 10,000 square-metre park. It will form an anchor point along a major access road stretching east to west. 

“The iconic expression of the landmark O-Tower designed by BIG is perfectly complemented and enhanced by Yuhang's natural waterbody and wetland landscape,” says Jin Le Qin, the Senior Vice President of OPPO.

The O-Tower pushes down the southern edge of the building to the ground, minimizing the external surface area of the more solar exposed façade while maximizing views out from the inward façade, which is in turn shaded by the geometry of the tower. The building is thereby optimized to reduce energy use and maximize access to natural light.

Wrapped with adaptive louvers that are oriented according to the angle of the sun, the façade will reduce solar gain by up to 52%, creating thermal comfort, and reducing glare and light pollution. 

A series of triple-height void spaces and interconnected terraces under the sloping O roof surface will offer visual and physical connection between floors, and the opportunity to introduce biophilic social spaces, allowing human interaction and activating the skyline of the city. At the heart of the O-Tower, a publicly accessible courtyard will become an urban living room for the city. The ground floor of the O-Tower will be open with an interconnected public space that seamlessly leads visitors and staff through lobbies, exhibition spaces, or out to the park.

“We have attempted to imagine the future work environment of OPPO to be sustainable on a triple bottom line: economically, ecologically and socially. Each element is intrinsically intertwined forming the melted loop that is perceivable at all scales - from the urban landmark to the human experience - becoming a manifestation of the design simplicity that is an intrinsic part of OPPO’s brand,” says Bjarke Ingels, Founder and Creative Director of BIG and a #DI alumnus. 

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Courtesy of BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group