Ascentage Pharmaceutical HQ’s facade inspired by the benzene ring hexagon

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Ascentage Pharmaceutical Headquarters is a new, modern R&D and manufacturing complex covering an area of 147,000 sqm and located in Suzhou. It belongs to a young pharmaceutical company that is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Ascentage’s culture is centered around cutting-edge research in biotechnology, which has led to the development of promising new cancer drugs. These drugs aim to improve the quality of life for future generations afflicted with diseases once thought to be untreatable or incurable. The campus was realized using some of the most technologically advanced digital design and fabrication tools available.

The new campus of Ascentage comprises seven buildings with modern and clean designs. These buildings are soft in appearance and have a curvilinear shape. The volumes of these buildings are open to the public and can be programmed by employees. They are elevated above a glass base and seemingly float over a reflecting pool covered in black granite. The main Xinqing Road faces this pool. The R&D and Administration Building is the tallest building on the campus, standing at 80m tall. It is located at the southwest corner of the site on Xinqing Road. The new building is in proximity to a new subway station, making it an iconic symbol.


The design of each building volume’s façade has been inspired by the benzene ring hexagon used to annotate the planar bonds of the six carbon and hydrogen molecules. These facades have been carefully engineered to fold parametrically and bond around the seven different building volumes. The facades have been created using adaptive BIM families and digitally fabricated using ultra-high-strength concrete panels, anodized aluminum nodes, and extrusions, resulting in distinct façade designs that balance visual transparency and privacy.

The site spans 60,870 sqm and consists of new high-tech research labs and an expansive advanced manufacturing fit-out that is illuminated by ample diffuse natural light filtering from its translucent roof. The distinct composition of the project’s buildings has created a singular campus and a new identity for Ascentage’s promising future.

Project Info

Design Architect: OLI Architecture PLLC
Design Lead: Hiroshi Okamoto, AIA, LEED A.P. Design Partner, Lin Bing Managing Partner
Design Team: Dongshin Lee R.A., Marcus Colonna AIA, Maher Tarakjian R.A., Michael Yin, Sanghoon Seo, Xiaoyu Wang, Alara Akiltopu, Amanda Chin
Local Design Institute:
Curtainwall Consultant: Talweg Engineering Studio D.P.C.
Photography: Shen Zhonghai

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