Corporate Headquarters

Apple, UN, BMW, Microsoft...

A corporate headquarters says a lot about an organization and that’s why the biggest, most innovative corporations take the time to build something more than an ordinary rectangular skyscraper. Here we take a look at a few examples of spectacular or interesting

head offices.

Corporate Headquarters - United Nations Building, New York City

United Nations, new york city

Not many New Yorkers' favorite building but it gets a place on this list because it's the home of the UN. Built in an International style back in 1948 this building is home to the main organs of the UN including the General Assembly and the Security Council. Though situated in Manhattan, New York the building and its surroundings are extraterritorial and not administered by the United States.

The team behind its construction was truly international led by architects, planners and engineers from the USSR, China, United Kingdom, Brazil, France and several other countries. The large tower forms the key part of the site along with a large square and is 39 stories high with the interior conference rooms designed by experts from the 58 member states of the time.

Fuji fcg, Tokyo

This design has been copied by other organizations around the world but the Fuji TV Building in Tokyo was the original. The architect behind this unusual construction is Kenzo Tange, the man behind the designs for the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

Reaching a height of 123 meters and built to high earthquake resistant standards this has long been a popular local sight and the spherical observation platform affords views across Tokyo.

Corporate Headquarters - FUJI TV Building, Tokyo
Corporate Headquarters - BMW Building, Munich

bmw, Munich

This four cylinder Munich building has served as BMW's HQ since 1973 and was designed by Karl Schwanzer.

Measuring 101 metres high it is supposed to mimic the four cylinders found in BMW engines. The four cylinders are suspended on a central support tower and form the centrepiece of the BMW Campus.

Corporate Headquarters - Bahnhof HQ, Pionen, Stockholm

bahnhof, stockholm

Bahnhof isn't a huge company. It's a Swedish ISP and was previously the host of WikiLeaks. Its main data center is located at Pionen in the White Mountains in Stockholm. Formerly this construction was a civil defence center before being repurposed as a data center able to withstand a hydrogen bomb.

Corporate Headquarters - Apple Campus, Cupertino, California

apple hq, cupertino, california

Known as the ultimate 'groundscaper', this building replaced Apple's previous headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop and is a Norman Foster design. The Neo-futuristic style building cost more than $5 billion, has a circumference of almost 1 mile (1.46 km), accommodates 12,000 staff and has a floor area of more than a quarter of a million square metres.

The idea behind the HQ came from Steve Jobs who wanted a design which resembled a campus rather than another office park. Jobs never saw the final product but signed off on the designs and was in favour of its beauty, curves and considered it to be the best office building in the world.

Besides its stunning design, it is also an ecological wonder with all elements of the building being LEED Platinum certified and the building can generate 17 megawatts of power making it one of the largest solar panel roofs in the world.

microsoft, seattle

You wouldn't expect anything boring from Microsoft and their Redmond campus doesn't disappoint. This has been the home of Microsoft since 1986 and expanded numerous times ever since.

Presently it covers three quarters of a million square metres and can host more than 50,000 employees. The size of the campus was so great that it caused immense traffic issues in the local area necessitating Microsoft to fund an overpass over the nearby freeway to relieve congestion.

Corporate Headquarters - Microsoft Campus, Redmond, Seattle
Corporate Headquarters - Lloyds of London Building, London
Corporate Headquarters - Lloyds of London Building, London

lloyds of london, london

Also commonly known as the Inside-Out Building, this 1986 construction can be found in the City of London, London. It's a prime example of Bowellism architecture as most of the building's services are located on the exterior thus maximizing the interior space.

Having been designed by Richard Rogers and Partners it has its elevators, power conduits, piping and ductwork all on the exterior and is 88 metres high. It is one of the most recent buildings to be Grade 1 Listed in the UK meaning it is protected from modification or demolition and recognized as a building of historic significance.

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Bank of China, Hong Kong

This was the first building outside of the United States to reach a height greater than 305 metres (1000 feet). Designed by I. M. Pei and L.C Pei and completed in 1990 it has long dominated the skyline of Hong Kong. The structure is supported by four steel columns at the corners of the building with the triangular frameworks able to transfer weight onto these columns. 

Today the skyscraper is only the fourth tallest in Hong Kong and was controversial at the time of construction because many felt that it broke the rules of Feng Shui because of its sharp edges throughout the design and the numerous 'X' shapes which feature  in the structure. Conversely, the building was admired for its blending of modern architectural elements with traditional Chinese styles. The prism-shaped shafts of the building help reflect the sun and ensure the tower is a shining crystal on the territory's skyline.

Awards won by the building include the '1999 Ten Best Architecture in Hong Kong' award, the AIA Reynolds Memorial Award and a 1989 Award for Engineering Excellence.

Tour CMA CGM, Marseille

This was the first skyscraper designed by Zaha Hadid and reaches 147 metres proving to be a landmark of the Marseille skyline and, at the same time, providing an interesting contrast with the city's other major landmarks which include Notre-Dame de la Garde and the Château d'If. 6,300 glass panels cover the facade of France's first double-skinned skyscraper.

The curving metallic structure represents a gateway from land and sea (CMA CGM is a major shipping company). The tower and its annex consist of 93,200m2 of office space and is the central project of regeneration in downtown Marseille. Being surrounded by a highway on two sides makes the building seem like its the centre of all things Marseille.

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