For the first time ever, China has won the Emporis Skyscraper Award, the highest honour given to new buildings.
Designed by a team of architects led by Zaha Hadid, Beijing’s Wanjing SOHO building earned this year’s top spot from a pool of over 300 buildings for its elegantly sloped structure and energy-efficient design.
Zaha Hadid says the design was inspired by rolling mountains, as the buildings’ fluid peaks help soften the hard cityscape.
The interior was conceived as an open concept office environment with a lofty 32-foot atrium.
In addition to the vast landscapes joining the buildings, the structures themselves boast eco-friendly insulation systems that reduce heating and cooling costs.
The MEP systems (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) also reduce emissions and energy consumption during extreme weather, Zaha Hadid’s team explains in a statement on the project.
The skyscraper is actually a cluster of three buildings, whose heights range from 387 feet, to 416 feet, to 656 feet.
Since the 1990s, Wangjing has been a magnet for IT and software companies looking to cash in on China’s growing technology sector.
With more start-up companies setting up shop, Zaha Hadid Architects wanted to give the region a flexible working environment that many different businesses could call home.
“The design responds to the flow of the city and allows natural daylight into each building from all directions,” the team explains in its statement. “The cohesive design of the project creates an anchor and identity for the growing Wangjing community.”
Her firm’s work in China underscores the region’s rapid growth and push for sustainable buildings. If it ever hopes to make good on its plan to move 250 million people into its emerging megacities by 2030, it needs buildings that don’t drain an already limited supply of resources.
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