Best Tall Building 200-299 meters Award of Excellence: Leeza SOHO, Beijing
SOHO China, Beijing
Zaha Hadid Architects, Beijing
A New, Tall Twist on Site Responsiveness
Anchoring the Lize Financial Business District, the Leeza SOHO rises from its specific, and highly restrictive site conditions. Straddling a new subway line that diagonally divides the site, the tower rises as a single volume divided into two halves on either side of the tunnel. A central atrium extends 190 meters through the full height of the building, and as the tower rises, the diagonal axis through the site is re-aligned by a 45-degree twisting of the atrium, orientating its higher floors with the historic north-south / east-west axes on which the city was founded. An outdoor, public piazza surrounds the tower, echoing its circular form at the center of the new financial district.
The sculptural qualities of reinforced concrete made it the ideal choice to realize the curvilinear form of the tower, while wide-flange steel was selected to realize the interconnecting bridges. This combination enabled Leeza SOHO to realize fluid, dynamic forms, while maintaining construction and economic feasibilities. The atrium’s “twist” allows natural light and views of the city from the center of all floors. Skybridges on structural rings at each refuge/MEP level and a double-insulated glass façade unite the two halves of the tower within a single cohesive envelope. From the exterior, the tower façade expresses the overall geometry and movement of the building. The tower provides self-shading for the atrium’s public space below, while double-insulated glazing and envelope insulation maintain a comfortable indoor environment in Beijing’s extreme weather conditions.