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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Soochow Securities Headquarters, Suzhou, China

Triangular building chosen as winner for headquarter building
Goettsch Partners (GP) has been selected as the winning firm in the competition to design the Soochow Securities Headquarters, the new office and stock exchange building for Soochow Securities Co. Ltd. The 21-storey, 441,300 sq ft project includes 344,400 sq ft of office space, an 86,100 sq ft stock exchange, meeting rooms, classrooms, a cafeteria, and underground parking for 400 cars and 800 bicycles.

Within Suzhou, the project is sited along the western edge of Jinji Lake in Suzhou Industrial Park, a major new commercial and mixed-use district outside the city center. Prominently anchoring a major boulevard that leads to central Suzhou, the building is conceived as a modern gateway to the historic city center. The triangular massing design responds contextually to the view corridors of the city and lake, the solar orientation of the site, as well as the diagonally approaching major artery. The triangular form is also seen symbolically in China as a balanced and stable form, an image well suited to a stock exchange headquarters.

The signature feature of the design is a soaring internal atrium that rises the full height of the building. The interconnectivity of the atrium creates a commanding presence, allowing access to natural light and views from all locations within. The atrium is envisioned to serve as an integrated component of the HVAC system, creating a tempered buffer zone, which increases ventilation through the natural stack effect of the high-rise tower. The increased ventilation will help to promote a higher indoor-air quality which, coupled with better access to natural light and views, provides a more optimal work environment for the tower employees.

The building enclosure is designed to minimize the overall energy consumption of the building. The triangular building form creates a self-shading massing that minimizes the east and west exposure, allowing for easier control of solar gain along the south facade. A high-performance shingled tower facade is employed to provide passive shading during the warmest summer months. This facade is framed by a highly articulated stone-and-glass system, which provides additional shading to the building interiors. Other sustainable design features include vegetated mini-atriums, native plantings and building heat recovery.

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