Sina Plaza, designed by Aedas, is the principal office in China for Sina Corporation, a Nasdaq listed company that operates Sina.com and Weibo social platform and has more than 85m unique users per day. The project has an above-ground and below-ground gross floor areas of 76,500 sq m and 48,000 sq m respectively.
It houses approximately 55,000 sq m of open office/R&D space, conference and meeting areas, corporation exhibition area, staff amenity areas which include entertainment and leisure facilities, canteens and a supermarket.
The project is located in Zhongguancun Science Park, a technology hub often referred as ‘China’s Silicon Valley’ in the northwestern part of Beijing. Situated at the corner of Zhongguancun West Road and Zhongguancun South Street, it is adjacent to many top tier IT and internet/web-based companies.
The area is well connected with public transport and is planned to be low density. Most developments are required to sit along their site boundaries to reinforce a strong streetscape with building height limited to 32m.
‘Limitless’ is the core concept of the design as advances in media technology and information flow have opened up unlimited opportunities in the digital world. The building is designed to reflect the infinity symbol ‘∞’ to express this concept of ‘limitless’. The objective of the architectural planning is to ensure maximum flexibility based on a modular approach that allows reshaping and adjustments as needed.
Drawing from the Chinese architectural heritage of courtyards, the building frames two major open courtyard gardens that brings natural light and cross ventilation to the interiors. At the intersection or centre of the building is the main entrance and a focal point – the ‘Eye of Sina’ – an atrium space that serves as the main vertical circulation hub and features a 12-m high conical media screen which displays current media information by Sina.com and Weibo.
Vertical circulations and servicing cores are located at the four corners of the building and connected by the central atrium. The internal circulation route resembles the infinity symbol which allows users to commute efficiently from one end of the building to the other. Walking to the opposite corner of the building requires no more than two minutes.
Although the architectural form is rectilinear, the architectural moves religiously follow a special design discipline. The form was squeezed, kneaded and pinched to express entrances, balconies, special double height workspaces and skylights.
The development is targeted to be a green and user friendly headquarters building, in alignment with the philosophy of this major international online media company. It has received a Pre-certified LEED Platinum rating.
Optimised building orientation is crucial to minimise solar heat gain and maximise natural ventilation. Penetration of daylight especially in the lobby and peripheral office spaces can greatly reduce the amount of energy used for artificial lighting. The skylight also helps light up the corridor on the top level. Double Low-E glass is applied to minimise cooling energy consumption, while external shading fins are carefully used to provide effective shading to the building envelope.