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Industrial Ecological


Nanshan Science & Technology Innovation Center

Architects: HPP, SZAD, AREP / Client: Government of Nanshan District, Shenzhen / Location: Shenzhen, China / GFA: 1,050,000 m² / / Completion: 2024
Competition: 1st prize 2018

Service: Neighbourhood and urban design

In 2018, we won the Nanshan Science & Technology Innovation Center (STIC) competition in Shenzhen, China.

The concept submitted for the 'Industrial Ecological Rainforest' for the new city quarter was developed by HPP Architects in collaboration with the Shenzhen General Institute of Architectural Design and Research Co., Ltd. (SZAD) and AREP.


An entire city as a start-up incubator

The Nanshan STIC provides an ecosystem for businesses from start-up to expansion.
Designed as a new centre, Nanshan STIC attracts professionals and invigorates the entire urban environment. It offers a networked and forward-looking environment for business growth - from the initial start-up to the subsequent corporate enterprise. 

Nanshan STIC is an important part of the realisation of a China Silicon Valley in Shenzhen and will become a model for comprehensive innovation. 
Due to its central location in the Liuxiandong Central in Shenzhen, the Nanshan STIC will become an important centre for science and technology in the entire region. 


Illustration and section of building at Nanshan Science & Technology Innovation Center

Elevated, green terraces at heights of ten to fifty metres connect the city with seven newly-conceived skyscrapers. High-quality, urban recreation spaces for public use as well as office, residential and research buildings will be created on a total area of 120,000 m². 

Innovative office and laboratory typologies for information technology (IT), pharmaceutical medicine and health and artificial intelligence (AI) are distributed across five towers. A sixth and seventh tower offer apartments for the talented young people of these future industries. 
An elevated platform at a height of ten to fifty metres will connect the city to the new research and development areas. 
Within this 'incubation platform', new companies will have every opportunity to develop and grow, but also to benefit from their direct neighbours. 

Urban Integration

The project is designed as a Transit-Oriented Development (TOD), optimally linked at various levels to the future major transport hub of the Xili high-speed railway station and directly benefiting from this new engine of economic development in Shenzhen. 

Xili High Speed Railway Station, Shigu Subway Station and a local bus stop are easily accessible via a multi-tiered network: A fast, efficient vertical and flexible horizontal transport system that allows ideal integration of the city, neighbourhood, podium and towers.


The design concept: Industrial Ecological Rainforest

Our vision is a highly-complex, diverse, sustainable, variable and vibrant eco-industrial parking system. 

The architects were inspired by the richness, diversity, energy and unique layer structure of the rainforest ecosystem and used this structure as the basic design principle for the Nanshan STIC. The result is an industrial complex with special appeal through exchange and interaction at various levels.

The layered structure of the rainforest manifests itself in the overall design through these three layers: the urban level, the platform level and the ascending layer of the towers. These layers are connected by a publicly accessible city park.

The urban level (1)
The urban level connects the traffic and leads the flow of people. It acts as a transport network, office and laboratory lobby, shopping street and conference centre for the project. 

The platform will be raised 30 metres above the subsurface so that natural light can penetrate to the lowest level and create a comfortable, rainproof environment. 

The resulting environment is flexible, inviting and easily accessible from the surrounding urban blocks. "A dynamic public living room" where people can exchange ideas and get together.

The platform level (2)
The roof layer is formed by the raised platform. 
The various levels of the platform rise high above the ground and are home to a lively industrial area and lush green leisure areas.

With its enormous size of approximately 400 metres in length and 110 metres in width, this layer is the perfect incubator for companies to grow as well as learn from and profit from each other.

The sheer size of this layer, combined with an efficient and flexible layout, offers start-ups and young, fast-growing companies a place for rapid development
It offers plenty of space for experimental research, collaboration, communication, informal meetings, seminars, product exhibitions and sports activities.

View from the Nanshan Science & Technology Innovation Center

The tower layer (3)
The tower layer is derived from the lower layers in the form of seven towers reaching a height of 160 to 250 metres. By placing these towers around the platform, a relatively private working environment is created that is aligned with the lush green internal areas of the roof layer. 

Large companies or unicorn companies that have emerged from the incubators at the platform level will find flexible floor plan sizes and layouts in these towers that are suitable for companies in various sectors. All towers are fully interconnected with the platform level by means of horizontal links creating opportunities for exchange and interaction.


Urban Park
The three layers are connected through the public city park, which meanders upwards from ground level via wide flights of steps. 
Underground, it is connected to Xili High Speed Railway Station and Shigu Subway Station and offers a variety of public urban spaces and functions, including urban lounges, sports facilities, a community centre, canteen, exhibition centre and several commercial and cultural functions.


The Nanshan STIC forms a multifunctional ecosystem for start-ups and fast-growing companies - and offers a high standard of comfort for all users.

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