GroupGSA was invited to submit a design for iCarbonX’s Super Headquarters Base in China’s new Shenzhen district, with a brief to “build an ecosystem of digital life based on a combination of an individual’s biological, behavioural and psychological data, the internet and artificial intelligence”. According to the judges, the Australian firm’s design is one of the most outstanding.

GroupGSA’s mixed-use tower design was inspired by the repeating hexagons in a carbon atom. According to the firm, dissecting these basic forms has produced a stunning architectural language and philosophy that flows through the design, tying iCarbonX’s diverse functional areas together into one cohesive working organism. 

Twisting coils at the heart of the design mirror DNA’s double helix structure, infusing the building’s ethos with the essence of life and creation. As well as emulating DNA, dual winding balconies add peace and serenity to the design, while tranquil terrace gardens allow workers to step back and centre themselves before entering office spaces.

The strong, elegant exterior houses an interior collage of workspaces that translate the continuous flow of DNA’s long winding chain into connecting corridors, spaces, structured elevations and circulating balconies. Large glass windows and hexagonal perforated metal panels create a transparent and spacious interior environment that brings the life and light of the natural world into the space.

“Our core aim was to connect experience, data, and people through this design,” says GroupGSA principal Alina Valcare. 

“iCarbonX is taking steps into an uncharted new future in medical science and we wanted to create a space that reflected the scale and ambition of their truly innovative mission.”

Founded in October 2015, iCarbonX plans to interpret and study digital life to provide personalised products and services for a healthier, better life. According to the company, its Super Headquarters Base will be the functional centre for Shenzhen to develop into a global super city.