SIP Hengyu International Center - Phase 3

Suzhou, China

Located on Wangdun Road in China’s Suzhou Industrial Park, outside Shanghai, this 70,000-square-meter office and retail complex borders a river to the east and faces the new Bank of China complex to the north. The tower anchors the southeast corner of the site and creates a strong, embracing gesture toward the major intersection at the northwest.

The design purposefully eschews the common "blue-glass office building" aesthetic for an architectural language that is both distinctive and efficient. An L-shaped footprint emphasizes the horizontality of the office tower and supports flexible planning, including dual lobbies with separate cores for the potential of two major tenants. Two-story atriums define the elevator lobbies of the typical office floors and offer spectacular views to the north. The building profile is angled and inflected at various edges and corners to achieve a dynamic, fluid massing from almost any angle. The four-story, open-air retail podium bends and flows to connect a major lobby entry with the main pedestrian street corner to the northwest.

The essential concept for the façade of the building—kinetic fluidity—is achieved by creating a language of horizontality in the tower wall’s spandrel zones, where sculptural metal panels travel the building’s length, changing their profile as they go. The bright metal strongly contrasts the reflective glass, while also providing opportunities for shading at various facade exposures. Economy is achieved through repetition of the profiles and a standard, unitized window-wall construction. For the retail podium, fritted glass is used instead of metal to continue the language of horizontality without sacrificing views. A series of radiating lines related to the tower geometry extend to the periphery of the property to define and shape space, resulting in a cohesive spatial sequence and unified quality, inside and out.