Eye-catcher in Beijing: Greenland Center by SOM
Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Location: Peking (CN)
The 260-metre-tall Greenland Center tower is located in the Dawangjing Business District, an equal distance from downtown Beijing and the airport. The most striking design feature of the building is its glass façade made up of prismatic trapezoidal elements. Consisting of two vertical, sound-insulated glass panes, the individual elements in the façade skin act like prisms in that they capture daylight and refract it to create an interplay of light and shadow. Configured with alternating angles, these elements provide the building both a touch of casual elegance and a natural and energy-saving form of shading.
Grouped around a central core, the office space and apartments on the 55-storey building enable the type of adjustable and adaptable floor plans that are the be-all and end-all in the contemporary real estate business. The aim in Dawangjing – a district developed fairly recently and now surrounded by several SOM-designed high-rises – is to combine the market's need for offices and housing with surroundings that prioritise quality of life.