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Fluid ripples in Hangzhou, China

Fluid ripples in Hangzhou, China


New York-based US architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has released plans for the Hangzhou Wangchao Center, a new mixed-use tower located in Hangzhou, China. Designed for Zhejiang Chengdao Properties Limited, it is expected to be completed in 2021.

The city of Hangzhou in eastern China is currently experiencing tremendous growth. As the host of the 2022 Asian Games, it is poised to become a new global destination. As part of this expansion, the New York architecture studio Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) is commissioned by the real estate company Zhejiang Chengdao Properties Limited to build a complex tower there by 2021. Called Hangzhou Wangchao Center, this skyscraper will add 125,000 m2 of offices, hotels and retail businesses to this booming part of the world. Beautifully located, the building is at the intersection of several major transport networks, directly adjacent to one of the city’s new metro stations and accessible from a main road. Its expressive silhouette is the result of an integrated architectural and engineering solution. Thus, an efficient structural system aims to minimize wind loads, with eight mega-columns that tilt towards the corners to release large, flexible floor plates. The corrugated facade is very streamlined, allowing the entire cladding to consist of flat glass panels. The distinctive design of the Hangzhou Wangchao Center meets the city’s programmatic, structural and environmental criteria. In addition to its performance-oriented design, its tapered shape makes it a true iconic beacon. Balancing a striking architectural vision and structural clarity, the center will undoubtedly set a precedent for mixed-use buildings in the region.

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