zaha hadid architects completes 'leeza SOHO tower' in beijing

zaha hadid architects completes 'leeza SOHO tower' in beijing

‘leeza SOHO tower’, designed by zaha hadid architects (ZHA), has opened in china with the world’s tallest atrium. the project — previously featured on designboom here — anchors beijing’s new fengtai business district — a growing financial and transport hub between the city center and the recently opened international airport to the south. the new district is integral to the chinese capital’s multi-modal urban plan to accommodate growth without impacting existing infrastructure networks in the center of the city. as part of the masterplan, the 45-storey 172,800 square meter tower provides small and medium-sized businesses with flexible and efficient grade A office space.

leeza soho tower
all images © hufton + crow



‘adjacent to the business district’s rail station at the intersection of five new lines currently under construction on beijing’s subway network, leeza SOHO’s site is diagonally dissected by an underground subway service tunnel,’ explains ZHA. ‘straddling this tunnel, the tower’s design divides its volume into two halves enclosed by a single facade shell. the emerging space between these two halves extends the full height of the tower, creating the world’s tallest atrium at 194.15m which rotates through the building as the tower rises to realign the upper floors with lize road to the north.’

leeza soho tower



this rotation of the atrium intertwines the two halves of the tower, while connecting skybridges on levels 13, 24, 35, and 45 traverse the dramatic void. the atrium has been designed to function as a public square for the new business district, linking a number of different spaces and offering sweeping views across its surroundings. the void also brings natural light deep within the building, while simultaneously acting as a thermal chimney with an integrated ventilation system.



environmental control is ensured by a double-insulated, unitized glass curtain wall system that steps the glazing units on each floor at an angle — providing narrow ventilating registers to draw outside air through operable cavities where required. the two halves of the tower shade the atrium’s public spaces, while the double-insulated low-e glazing maintains a comfortable indoor environment throughout the year. with a u-value of 2.0 W/m²K, the glazing has a shading coefficient of 0.4. the tower’s overall external envelope u-value is 0.55 W/m²K.



designed to achieve LEED gold certification by the US green building council, the tower’s 3D BIM energy management system monitors real-time environmental control and energy efficiency. these systems also include heat recovery from exhaust air and high-efficiency pumps, fans, chillers boilers, lighting, and controls. the design incorporates water-collection, low-flow rate fixtures, and grey water flushing, as well as an insulating green roof with photovoltaic array to harvest solar energy. in addition to office space, 2,680 bicycle parking spaces, with lockers, shower facilities, and dedicated charging spaces for electric and hybrid cars are located below ground.



project info:


project data —
top of façade: 199.99 m
top of atrium: 194.15 m
standard floor to floor height: 4.1 m
number of floors: 45 floors above ground, 4 floors below ground
site area: 14,365 sqm
gross floor area: 172,800 sqm
project start date: october 2013
siteworks start date: april 2015
completion date: 19 november 2019


project team —
architect: zaha hadid architects (ZHA)
design: zaha hadid, patrik schumacher
ZHA project director: satoshi ohashi
ZHA project architect: philipp ostermaier
ZHA project associates: kaloyan erevinov, ed gaskin, armando solano
ZHA project team: yang jingwen, di ding, xuexin duan, samson lee, shu hashimoto, christoph klemmt, juan liu, dennis brezina, rita lee, seungho yeo, yuan feng, zheng xu, felix amiss, lida zhang, qi cao
ZHA competition directors: satoshi ohashi, manuela gatto
ZHA competition team lead designers: philipp ostermaier, dennis brezina, claudia glas dorner
ZHA competition team: yang jingwen, igor pantic, mu ren, konstantinos mouratidis, nicholette chan, yung-chieh huang


executive architect: beijing institute of architectural design (china)


consultants —
structure: bollinger + grohmann (stage 0,1); china academy of building research (stage 2); beijing institute of architectural design (stage 3,4)
facade: konstruct west partners (stage 2); kighton facade (stage 3,4); yuanda (stage 3,4)
MEP: parsons brinkerhoff (stage 2); beijing institute of architectural design (stage 3,4)
lighting: J+B studios architectural design (stage 2); light design (stage 2,3); leuchte (stage 4)
landscape: zaha hadid architects (stage 2,3); ecoland (stage 4)
interiors: zaha hadid architects (stage 2,3); huateng (stage 4)
signage: dongdao (stage 4,5)
LEED: schneider electric (stage 2)
helipad: zhi jiu (stage 3,4)
traffic consultant: dazhengtong (stage 3,4)
quantity surveyor: liby limited (stage 2)
site supervision: shuangyuan (stage 5)
modelmaker: gaojie (stage 2,3)
photography: hufton + crow

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