Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Beijing Greenland Center, Beijing
Featured February 2018
Beijing Greenland Dawangjing Tower was recognized as a "Best Tall Building Asia & Australasia" Finalist in the 2016 Best Tall Building Awards.
Other Featured Tall Buildings

“This elegant building is a simple form with a complex and articulated skin. The intricacies of its curtain wall detailing reflect light in unprecedented ways.”
James Parakh, Juror, Toronto Planning Department

Completion Date:
March 2016
Building Height:
260 m (853 ft)
Stories:
53
Area:
172,800 sq m (1,860,004 sq ft)
Primary Function:
Residential / Office
Owner / Developer:
Greenland Group

Architects:
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (design)
Structural Engineers:
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (design)
MEP Engineer:
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (design)
Main Contractors:
Beijing Liujian Construction Group
Other CTBUH Member Consultants:
Edgett Willams Consulting Group Inc. (vertical transportation); Lerch Bates (maintenance); RWDI (wind); SWA Group (landscape)

Provocatively sited at the intersection of two major highways, Beijing Greenland Dawangjing Tower was admired by the jury for its visually compelling design that demands attention while signaling the dawn of a new business district in the surrounding neighborhood. The textures and patterns of the façade not only stimulate visual interest through the reflection of light, but also provide a compelling environmental benefit in the form of self-shading, all while endowing the tower with a unique sense of identity.
Beijing Greenland Dawangjing Tower’s instantly recognizable appearance was developed to take advantage of the building’s positioning near a major highway interchange along the city’s 5th Ring Road. This position, and its resulting visibility, inspired the project team to create a tower that would generate a high level of visual interest and enliven the surrounding area.  Located in a neighborhood roughly equidistant from Beijing’s core and the city’s main international airport, the tower is one of many in the burgeoning Dawangjing business district. However, its prominent height and faceted appearance make it stand out from the rest.

Façade detail
An alternating pattern of extruding and receding trapezoidal modules define the tower’s skin. These modules function like prisms, catching daylight and refracting it in order to create an interesting interplay of light and shadow, an intentional move by the project team to positively impact Beijing’s typically overcast environment. Each face is composed of two vertical, low-E, insulated vision glass panels set in a vertical anodized aluminum mullion on top of a glass shadowbox spandrel. The trapezoids measure 1.5 meters (5 feet) at their narrowest, 3 meters (9.8 feet) at their widest, and stand 4.2 meters (13.8 feet) tall. Each trapezoid angles 10–12 degrees either out or in, depending on its orientation. Inside, the angles create bays on each floor that maximize visibility out over Beijing while still maintaining a human scale.
Lobby Typical floor plan
Programmatically, the tower stacks 178 serviced apartments over several zones of office floors for a total allotment of 172,800 square meters (1,860,004 square feet) of space. The office floors are organized around a simple rectangular plan with a central core and offer a 13.5-meter (44.3-foot) lease depth, making them ideal for corporate tenants. Retail programming is housed in a separate podium that is clad in glass to complement the tower’s design and make the activity within visible to passersby, in contrast to the reflective glazing of the tower. Together, the two buildings create an architectural anchor in Dawangjing, centering the neighborhood as it continues to grow.

In addition to defining the project’s appearance, its unique trapezoidal skin contributes to the building’s performance. The overall façade pattern was carefully shaped so that the trapezoids would provide significant self-shading. Their angles have been studied and configured in both elevation and section in order to maximize this benefit. This is especially true in the summer, when all four elevations receive direct solar radiation.
Building entry at night
A number of other sustainable elements are incorporated into the tower design, allowing the building to achieve significant energy, carbon, and water savings over an identified baseline. Standard sustainable features, such as high-efficiency occupancy, sensitive lighting, energy-efficient elevators, and direct digital-control building automation are incorporated along with more advanced features such as heat reclamation technology. Energy-efficient, variable-speed, fan coil units with a dedicated outdoor air system were chosen for the tower’s HVAC system. With the self-shading façade and previously mentioned energy features in operation, Beijing Greenland Center is projected to achieve energy savings of 29 percent when compared to an equivalent tower.

Related Links
CTBUH Skyscraper Center Profile:
Beijing Greenland Dawangjing Tower

Beijing Greenland Dawangjing Tower was a finalist for Best Tall Building Asia & Australasia in the 2016 Best Tall Building Awards.
The CTBUH would like to thank Greenland Group for their assistance with this article.