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HENN Completes X-Shaped Innovation Center For High-Performance Medical Devices In Guangzhou

Munich, Berlin and Beijing-based architecture studio HENN has completed an X-shaped innovation center for High-Performance Medical Devices (IHM·GBA) in Guangzhou, China.

Named Innovation Center for High-Performance Medical Devices, the 59,000-square-metre building is located in the heart of Guangzhou’s thriving international Bio Island, a dedicated zone for the development of biomedical research and technology.

HENN released its conceptual renderings in 2020, when construction began, and completed the vertical complex in 2022, one year before the scheduled date.

The building provides spaces to develop high-performance medical devices, combining laboratories and spaces for research with areas for informal communication and open office spaces.

To provide an optimal use in each floor, the design weaves these programs together in an X-shaped floor plan. Each bar of the “X” is devoted to either laboratory or workspaces, while the intersections function as communal spaces.

While the column grid is denser in lab areas, wings are left more open dedicated to office spaces.

“The shape of the floor plan allows for light to reach into the heart of the building, with lush vistas in multiple directions from every wing,” said HENN.

The studio designed corners on the inside of the X in a curved geometry rather than creating the sharp outer edges, and according to the team, this adds to the quality of the views and creating a dynamic composition of lines along the facade. From the outer appearance, the innovation center is made up of three floating volumes separated by multi-storey, open-air terraces that function as sky gardens. These double-height spaces create a playful rhythm of shifting volumes. Public functions, including a lobby, exhibition hall, a show lab and café are arranged in the lower volume, while the middle volume above houses laboratories, meeting rooms, multipurpose rooms. Office are placed on the top floor.

HENN stated that “the innovation center represents a new typology in high-density vertical architecture, combining experimentation and research spaces with collaborative work environments.”

The building functions as a scaffolding for innovation that boosts progress in the development of high- performance medical devices.


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