aerial view of all floors, stairs and tables on ground floor

Designing a new headquarters from the inside-out

Nokia, Beijing

Nokia wanted to bring together its dispersed departments and operational units in a new campus headquarters. We used ‘inside-out’ architecture to support a culture of collaborative working, connection and sustainability.

At a glance

  1. The first building in China to be awarded a LEED Gold Certification by the US Green Building Council.
  2. Rebalancing ‘work-life’ and creating an immersive experience for employees.
  3. A headquarters that brings the city to its heart.

With a new out-of-town location, rebalancing ‘work-life’ was as an important priority. This meant the building design evolved into an immersive ‘brand experience’. We surveyed and analysed user needs and integrated them into a building that would meet the client’s sustainability and operational goals.

view of floors and canteen area on ground floor
plants and view of canteen

The distinct ground-level ‘main street’ with a covered full-height void divides the building into two halves. Separating Nokia’s R&D and business teams to meet operational security requirements, the main street acts as a passage and social space. It offers amenities and services including restaurants, convenience shops, a health club, concierge, laundry services, and a wellness room.

Nokia’s coach network system links the headquarters to key city locations and residential neighbourhoods – a comfortable and convenient commute. Rather than bringing the headquarters to the heart of the city, the headquarters brings the city to its heart.

The ‘inside-out’ design approach also helped the Nokia headquarters to become the first building in China to be awarded a LEED Gold Certification by the US Green Building Council.

Sustainability features include:

  • The building’s external double-skin glazing insulates the interior, reducing the load on the climate control systems
  • An open plan layout and extensive glazing bring in plenty of natural light
  • Low-flow sanitary fixtures makes the building extremely water-efficient.
aerial view of floors


Completion date





829,350 sq ft

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