New CITIC headquarters tower in Hangzhou breaks ground
By Richard High04 May 2011
Construction has started on the Foster + Partners' designed headquarters tower for CITIC Bank in Hangzhou, China.
The 100 m high tower's diagonally-braced structure has been designed to "establish an iconic presence" for the Bank in a prominent location on a main axis through Hangzhou Qian Jiang New City, a new central business district being constructed next to the Qian Jiang River, according to the architect.
The tower's striking geometric form features a facade that is pulled inwards near the base to form a symmetrical V-shape across the south-facing elevation. Wrapped in a bronze-coloured diagrid lattice, the floor plates widen as the tower rises, expanding to provide panoramic views of the river and the surrounding public plaza while maximising the available area within a compact footprint.
At the base of the tower, a 30 m high A-frame canopy stretches 72 m across the ground floor to create a dramatic entrance experience. This leads to the heart of a diamond-shaped central atrium, which rises up through the full height of the 20-storey tower and helps to encourage natural ventilation during the mid-seasons.
Tiered sky-gardens line the perimeter of the upper floors and a winter garden with a mezzanine level accommodates a VIP club and meeting spaces at the top of the building. The tower will be naturally ventilated for part of the year, grey water will be recycled and local materials used where possible to reduce embodied energy.
The tower's form draws inspiration from the shape of the ancient 'dou' or 'ding' vessel, a traditional symbol of wealth, dignity and stability.