Newly launched just earlier this year in 2018, Chinese multinational networking, telecommunications equipment, and services company, Huawei’s newest office complex in Shenzen, Guandong, is probably the epitome of office design and the envy of many outsiders (myself included).

The Ox Horn Campus at Songshan Lake is located in the manufacturing hub of Dongguan, nestled in a large garden compound wiht lush forests and flowers. Construction of the campus began in September 2014 and cost the company 10 billion Yuan.

In Chinese, the campus is called Xi Liu Bei Po Chun (溪流背破村), which means ‘leeward slope with streams and brooks’. It is named ‘Ox Horn’ in English because of the pointed shape of the site.

The Ox Horn Campus covers a floor area of 1.4 million square metres, housing 108 buildings that will accommodate 25,000 Huawei staff.

Given the sheer size of the campus, Huawei built an environmentally-friendly private electric tram network to ferry their staff around from one block to another. The commuter rail system stretches 7.8 km, taking passengers through all 12 campus blocks.

Riding on the train as a visitor, one can’t help but feel as if I was on a theme park tram ride exploring Disneyland or some other fun places.

The electric trams are inspired by trams in Switzerland and emit 20% less CO2 than standard buses.

The perks of working at Huawei don’t just stop there.

Other than having their own private trams, staff are also issued smart employee passes which allow them to store value and use it to purchase food items as well as enjoy many other staff privileges such as a dumpster rental if needed. Why don’t we have staff passes like these in Singapore?

Additionally, there are many F&B outlets in the campus and staff can grab supper from many of these restaurants and stores, including 7-11 for FREE. The supper menu is refreshed regularly so that you get a variety.

The campus is divided into 12 blocks modeled after various landmarks in Europe with historical significance including:

1.

Verona

The story of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was set in Verona, a place known to be one of Italy’s most beautiful and historic cities. This area of the campus was designed to bring about an atmosphere of the Italian saying “la bella vita” (a beautiful life).

2.

Cesky Krumlov

Krumlov was named a UNESCO world heritage site in 1992. Inspired by the charm and rich history of Czech town of Krumlov, this section was built to invigorate the senses.

3.

Freiburg

This area of the campus was inspired by Freiburg, a historic town in Switzerland and is replicated to simulate the tranquility of Freiburg.

4.

Heidelberg

The construction of this site draws on one of Germany’s most ancient universities, Heidelberg University, embodying a vibrant mixture of tradition and modernity.

5.

Burgundy

This section drew inspiration from Burgundy, one of France’s most famous wine-producing regions. It is modeled after Fontevraud Abbey with red slate roves of Semuren Auxois. Burgundy is one of Europe’s most historically and culturally rich regions.

6.

Bologna

This area of the campus features elegant renaissance pillars, colonnades and a Gothic church. Bologna is one of Italy’s most historic cities and is known for being one of Italy’s best places to live with a strong industrial tradition and highly developed welfare systems.

7.

Windermere

This area of the campus draws on the style of the Lake District, England’s largest National Park and it provides a dreamy, refreshing atmosphere.

8.

Luxembourg

Luxembourg is one the greatest capitalist trading nations despite being a small country, inspiring the traits of resilience and success in the construction of this site of the campus.

9.

Bruges

Bruges is known to be one of Belgium’s oldest and most beautiful cities, that provided the inspiration for this area of the campus. The standout attractions are the bell tower and its arched stone bridges which create a human environment in harmony with its natural surroundings.

10.

Oxford

A place for the pursuit of excellence, this block inspires the quest for deeper insights and better

technology.

11.

Grenada

Draws on Spanish and Arabic styles for a unique amalgam of East and West, signifying a union of different cultures.

12.

Paris

This area takes its style from emblematic Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris, and is home to the R&D teams. The Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris is an international cultural centre that has stood for peace, unity and friendly cooperation

The Ox Horn campus is designed to represent Huawei’s collaborative style and to create a relaxed environment that inspires employees by drawing on centuries of architectural tradition in European landmarks

Classic European buildings were selected as part of the design theme as it represents the world’s classic landmarks that accumulated the wisdom and essence of humanity for hundreds of years, recording a history of failures and successes.

Site transport

Employees can take the electric trams that are inspired from Switzerland to commute from one block to another in the campus

The commuter rail system stretches 7.8 kilometers long that takes passengers all through the 12 blocks

The electric trams emit 20% less CO2 than standard buses