Decoding Design

SOM Chicago to design Wujiang Greenland Tower in China

SOM Chicago to design Wujiang Greenland Tower in China

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SOM's Chicago branch wins the international design competition for Greenland Group's Wujiang Greenland Tower in China with a beautiful, and efficient, glass tower.

The Chicago branch of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP, or SOM, has recently revealed that it has won the international contest to design the Greenland Group Suzou Center in Wuijiang, China.

The tower will rise 358 meters over the Yangtze River, with a "tapering form" that "effectively unifies the office and residential uses within a gently curved volume and creates a unique presence on the city skyline."

The building's gentle curve helps maximize the continuity of the vertical form, blurring the boundaries between the different uses of the inside and making a "dramatic crown" at the top.

The 75-story tower will feature a 30-story operable window that corresponds with the residential and hotel floors of the mixed-use building. The tower's exterior is made of a high-performance glass wall with aerodynamic air vents, used to minimize the wind pressure of the tall building.

A dramatic lobby splits the two sides of the structure, which are connected with steel braces. This atrium serves to maximize the amount of daylight in the building, and also facilitates the mixed-mode ventilation. The building is oriented in such a way that it can harness the stack effect and winds via the east and west facades of the atrium.

In SOM Chicago's announcement of their victory, Luke Leung, the SOM Directory of Sustainable and MEP Engineering put it this way:

“The design of the Greenland Group Suzhou Center utilizes an atrium as the ‘lung’ of the building to provide ventilation and will incorporate a series of high efficiency measures with the objective to achieve a 60% savings in energy consumption compared to a conventional US high rise and a 60% reduction in potable water use.”

Other than the high-performance glass and ventilation from the atrium, the building incorporates many energy saving strategies, like efficient lighting fixtures and occupant  controls, energy recovery systems and an onsite energy center with combined heat and power plant.

[Arch Daily]

Images: SOM Chicago

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Beth Carter

Contributing Editor

Beth Carter is a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. She has worked for Catalyst magazine, the New York Times Syndicate, BBC Travel and Wired. She holds degrees from the University of Oregon and New York University. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure