The headquarters for Shenzhen Rural Commercial Bank, an 158-meter-tall, 33-story tower located on the edge of a public park at the center of one of Shenzhen’s key business districts, responds to the region’s tropical climate through a series of biophilic and sustainable design solutions.
The design inspiration is drawn from natural systems and elements like water and wind which figure prominently in building features like the multistory water wall at the building’s main lobby, the undulating striations of marble cladding the tower’s elevator core, and the integration of a mixed-mode natural ventilation system that allows for seasonal air flushing of the key common areas and office levels.
“We’re always exploring opportunities to synthesize inventive engineering solutions with architectural design. The Rural Commercial Bank Headquarters gave us the chance to incorporate a diagrid—similar to an exoskeleton—that pulls the
structure to the exterior and effectively suspends the tower within to create column-free workspaces.”
- Scott Duncan, SOM Design Partner
Automated louvers in the vertical atria traversing the full height of the tower and mechanized window vents on each office floor comprise a flexible system that allows the building to “breathe” during the frequent periods of pleasant weather experienced in Shenzhen.
Building on SOM’s tradition of innovative structural engineering solutions, the design incorporates a tightly-spaced diagrid that serves two primary purposes. The first is to provide a solar shading system for the building and its occupants, an important consideration in mitigating the region’s hot tropical sun. Solar gain is thereby reduced by approximately 34 percent and dramatically reduces glare in the office spaces within. The second purpose is to create an entirely column free floor plan and enable ultimate flexibility of office layouts. The resulting interior space is defined only by a simple perimeter glass wall with an automated solar control blind to preserve optimal daylight levels.
A glass and bronze-toned private banking pavilion adjacent to the tower’s main lobby incorporates a high performance double-skin wall to provide environmental comfort and visual privacy to the consultation suites and areas for display of artwork within. Reflecting pools, grey granite paving and seating areas, and arrays of trees and ground cover define the main entrance spaces and small gardens at the base of the tower, relating to the adjacent large public park that is the centerpiece of the district master plan.
SOM’s work on the Shenzhen Rural Commercial Bank Headquarters included architecture, mechanical, electrical and plumbing, structural and civil engineering.
The tower is targeting LEED Platinum and China Green Star certification.