Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Citic Bank Hangzhou Branch Headquarters in Hangzhou, China by Foster + Partners Team
May 5th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
New CITIC headquarters tower in Hangzhou breaks ground
Construction has commenced on Foster + Partners’ first project in Hangzhou, China, with a sustainable, landmark headquarters tower for CITIC Bank. The 100-metre-high skyscraper’s bold diagonally-braced structure will establish an iconic presence for the Bank in a prominent location on a main axis through Hangzhou Qian Jiang New City, a new central business district being constructed next to the Qian Jiang River.
The tower is characterised by a striking geometric form – the facade is pulled inwards near the base to form a symmetrical V-shape across the south-facing elevation. Wrapped in a bronze-coloured diagrid lattice, the floor plates widen as the tower rises, expanding to provide panoramic views of the river and the surrounding public plaza. The design maximises the available area within a compact rectilinear footprint, while respecting views of neighbouring structures.
Resonating with elements of traditional Chinese culture, the tower’s form draws inspiration from the shape of the ancient ‘dou’ or ‘ding’ vessel, a traditional symbol of wealth, dignity and stability. At the base of the tower, a 30-metre-high A-frame canopy stretches 72 metres across the ground floor to create a dramatic entrance experience. This leads to the heart of a diamond-shaped central atrium, which rises up through the full height of the 20-storey tower and helps to encourage natural ventilation during the mid-seasons.
Tiered sky-gardens line the perimeter of the upper floors and a generous winter garden with a mezzanine level accommodates VIP club and meeting spaces at the top of the building. The tower will be naturally ventilated for part of the year, grey water will be recycled and local materials utilised where possible to reduce embodied energy.
David Nelson, Head of Design at Foster + Partners, said:
“The tower has a prominent location in Hangzhou, next to one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks – our challenge has been to create a new building, which harmonises with its surroundings, yet has its own integrity and presence. It is great to see work start on site.” Luke Fox, a design director at Foster + Partners, commented:
“CITIC Bank’s new headquarters tower will be a dynamic addition to the Hangzhou cityscape. Its distinctive form evolved through close collaboration with the client, and was driven by their aspirations to create a very special workplace. The tower will provide the highest quality office space – tailored to the current needs of the Bank, but with the flexibility to anticipate future working patterns and demands.”
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