Poly International Plaza, SOM’s latticed shell in Beijing, China is based on traditional Chinese Paper Lanterns. Located midway between the Forbidden City and Beijing Capital Airport, Poly International Plaza occupies a prominent position in a new business district adjacent to the Capital Airport Expressway.
A chance to design an “iconic” building is not something one encounters every day. However, that is exactly what the designers at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP (SOM) in their San Francisco office got when they were challenged to come up with a design for the Poly International Plaza project in Beijing, China. It was a project that would further burnish the already stellar image of the client, the China Poly Group, renowned for its superior quality real estate holdings. The project was to consist of three office towers totaling approximately 1.25 million square feet, one 530 feet tall – the “icon” – and two others, more conventional, about half as tall.
The project site comprises a main tower and two smaller supporting towers. The elliptical footprint of the three towers frees the buildings from the rigid geometry of the adjoining urban fabric, allowing the landscape of surrounding parks to continue seamlessly through the project site.The landscaping covers garage ramps and egress stairs, minimizing their visual impact while creating a tranquil, undulating topography with pedestrian paths.
Inspired by Chinese paper lanterns, the design of the main tower’s exterior is formed by a continuous diagrid pattern, with a jewel-like faceting that shimmers as it reflects the sky. The exoskeleton structural system forms an outer thermal envelope around the office spaces, which are enclosed within a second glazed interior envelope. This creates day-lit communal areas that accommodate meetings and foster social interaction, while establishing physical and visual connections between floors.
The long-span structural design not only opens up the interior, creating a column-free work environment, but also employs a highly sustainable architectural/mechanical approach to address the climatic and air quality challenges particular to Beijing.
Architects : Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Location : Bao Li Guo Ji Guang Chang (Hong Tai Dong Jie), WangJing, Chaoyang Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100096
Design Partner : Leo Chow, AIA
Consulting Partner : Gene Schnair, FAIA
Technical Partner : Keith Boswell, FAIA
Project Managing Director : Larry Chien, AIA
Area : 116000.0 m2
Project Year : 2016
Photographs : Bruce Damonte
Manufacturers : Dorma, Interface, Kohler, Schindler, Jianho Group, Yuefu, Xinyi Glass, Beijing Qingshang Architectural Ornamental Engineering, ESCOFET, Shandong Dahua Rixin Aluminum, North Glass
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