Beijing, China 2013



PROGRAM: Office, retail, and public space.
STATUS: competition

Rather than object-based form, this urban architecture gets its character from its subtractive qualities. If sculpture is in two types, additive and subtractive, this form is of the subtractive type.

The ground floor provides porosity through the building, while the perimeter activates the site with retail stores. The ground level space is paved in rough granite and will give entry to all office lobbies. Seven sky gardens occupy the upper carved portions of the complex.

This new building is a hybrid of working, retail, cultural, and living, with a hotel in its upper spire. Hybrid buildings lessen the waste of daily commuting.

As a progressive example of future urban architecture, the tower is heated and cooled geothermally, has ample natural light, optional natural ventilation, as well as ecological material choices such as bamboo and local stone.


  • architect
    • – Steven Holl Architects
    • Steven Holl ( design architect, principal )
    • Roberto Bannura ( project director )
    • Michael Rusch ( associate in charge )
    • Yiqing Zhao ( project architect )
    • Noah Yaffe ( project advisor, partner )
    • Xi Chen, Yun Shi, Wenying Sun, Manta Weihermann (project team)