Construction for Zaha Hadid Architects’ Leeza Soho tower has reached level 20 of 46 storeys, and is expected to hold the world record for the tallest atrium, a title currently held by Burj Al Arab in Dubai.
The 207m mixed-use tower is located within the Liz Financial Business District in Beijing, straddling the new subway tunnel that diagonally divides the site. The tower rises as a single volume divided into two halves on either side of the tunnel.
The central atrium extends up to 190m through the full height of the structure and connecting the two halves together.
As it rises, the diagonal axis through the site that is defined by the subway tunnel re-aligns by twisting the atrium through 45 degrees to orient the higher floors of the atrium with the east-west axis of Lize Road, one of Beijing’s main streets.
The ‘twsit’ of the atrium allows for plenty of natural light to enter the building and well as providing views of the city from the centre of all floors.
The tower was designed by Zaha Hadid before her death last year, and is set to include 1.4 million square meters of office and retail space.
Walkways and a double-layer insulated glass facade will connect the two halves of the tower together to form a single cohesive envelope.
The double-insulated curtain wall system allows for each pane to be angled to encourage ventilation, helping to maintain a comfortable indoor climate due to Beijing’s extreme weather of heat and cold.
2,680 bicycle parking spaces with lockers and shower facilities will be another feature of the project. There will also be dedicated charging spaces for electric or hybrid cars, located underground.
Construction of Leeza Soho will reach its full 207m height in September this year, with the tower’s completion planned for late 2018.
Leeza Soho is the most recent of four project collaborations between Zaha Hadid Architects and Soho China that total 15 million square feet (1.4 million m²) of award-winning office and retail space.
Zhang Xin, CEO of Soho China explained: “China attracts the best talent from around the world. It’s important to work with architects who understand what the next generation requires; connecting communities and traditions with new technologies and innovations to embrace the future.”
“It was very important to Zaha to give back to the region,” Patrik Schumacher, principal at ZHA told visitors, who were invited to the exclusive opening of the firm’s MENA headquarters. Read our interview with Schumacher here.