Suzhou Provident Fund Building

Suzhou, China

The Provident Fund Center Building is located In the Suzhou Industrial Park east of Jinji Lake and south of Xian Dai Boulevard. The site features the potential of spectacular views of Jinji Lake to the west and a beautiful park to the northwest. The overall project area of 43,200 square-meters is accommodated by an 18 story, 78-meter tall tower and a 3-story, 15-meter tall podium.

The planning concept divides the square site into two triangular zones by demarcating it from northeast to southwest with a forty-five degree diagonal “slot”.  The tower occupies the southeast triangle, leaving the northwest triangular zone for the podium.  The main entrance lobbies for both tower and podium are located at the northwest and southeast corners of the site respectively; their placement creates a secondary diagonal axis of pedestrian movement set perpendicular to the initial site division “slot”. A two-story service hall is located where the main diagonal axes meet. Skylight-covered and bathed in natural light, it is the heart of the complex.

Levels 1 and 2 of the tower consist of the Provident Fund Center offices, while Levels 3 and 4 contain support functions such as archiving, computer rooms, training, a cafeteria and conference space.  Levels 5-18 contain leasable office space. The podium features the Provident Fund service hall and self-service areas on the ground floor. Affiliated banks with independent entrances and connections to the business hall are located along the street on the west and north. The two-story service hall creates a dynamic atrium experience and provides visual connectivity to the exhibition hall on the Level 2.

The building’s form takes its cue from the site’s triangular division. The exterior sides of each triangle receive a gentle curve in plan, and all corners are softened with radiuses. The void of the service hall at the first two levels gives the tower an L-shaped plan that is carried through in massing to the top floors. Above, the screen wall unifies the two legs of the L-shape, reinforcing the site’s division into the two masses containing the main program elements.

The building’s façade design features a high performance glass and metal curtain wall system.  Suspended vertical metal fins float off the curtain wall on a 1.5 meter module, providing façade shading without affecting views from the interior.  The continuity of the fins is broken at the spandrel zone of each floor to reinforce the horizontality of the curved surface.  The podium façade reads more solidly. It utilizes a combination of shadow box spandrel and vision glass to reduce the west sun exposure and prevent heat loss on the north side.