Bank of Communications

Ningbo, China

The Bank of Communication Headquarters project offers a varied, flexible program on a highly visible and distinguished site in Ningbo.  The building is located at the junction of Jing Jia and Hai Yan Roads. At this signature corner, the unique silhouette of the project is clearly visible: two interlocking forms engaging a transparent circulation element linking them to one another. The interlocking masses unite the low-rise and high-rise office, banking hall and retail functions, while the transparent “bridge” allows views through the building.

Primary vehicular access to the complex is from the north.  A landscaped entry court leads to an expansive interior lobby that provides internal connectivity to the office tower, banking hall and retail areas. The overall organization provides ample southern light and eastern views to the river for the office spaces, ideal commercial frontage for the banking hall to the east and south, and prominent retail frontage to both the south and west pedestrian corridors.

The unique exterior design for the project is a result of the desire to create an institutional image; a sense of solidity and permanence appropriate for a successful financial entity, while still allowing the required transparency to take advantage of the expansive views offered by the site. These seemingly opposing qualities are achieved simultaneously through thoughtful articulation that also achieves a high level of energy performance.

The low-rise and high-rise office towers feature a saw-tooth glass and metal panel skin accentuated by a series of perforated metal external shading devices that minimize solar radiation while casting indirect light deeper into the office spaces. All tower faces receive this treatment, with the exception of the two most prominent facades at the street intersection. These are treated as flush, transparent skins of a different glazing type. Along with the bridge link, lobbies and street-level retail, these areas richly contrast the vertical rhythm and texture of the whole. The overall effect of the enclosure is a measured, graceful verticality.