Pearl River Tower, Guangzhou Skyscraper, China High-Rise Design, Chinese Building Project Photo

Pearl River Tower : Guangzhou Skyscraper Development

Contemporary Chinese High-Rise Building design by SOM Architects

17 Sep 2013

Pearl River Tower Guangzhou

Pearl River Tower Wins Award

Design: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)

Emporis Skyscraper Award 2012 shortlisted – 17 Sep 2013

Pearl River Tower
photo SOM © Si-ye Zhang

SOM-Designed Pearl River Tower Topped Out in China

March 28, 2010 (Chicago) – Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) and CNTC Guangdong Tobacco Corporation today celebrated the topping out of Pearl River Tower in Guangzhou, China, a 71-story building whose unique structural form is one of the most energy-efficient skyscrapers in the world.

“Today we celebrated the innovative structural form of Pearl River Tower as it moves toward completion,” said Richard Tomlinson, managing partner, SOM, who attended the topping out ceremony. “Our team was able to design to the forward-looking, ambitious goals that were set out, and this milestone in the building development process is a great achievement for CNTC Guangdong Tobacco Corporation, most importantly, this project can only be successful with the support of the land owner, property developers, interior designers, contractors and the local architect and engineer.”

Pearl River Tower Construction photo + Inlet rendering:
Pearl River Tower Pearl River Tower intake
images © SOM

The 2.3-million square-foot tower redefines what’s possible in sustainable design by incorporating the latest sustainable technology and engineering advancements. Due to the unique shape of the building, as well as the wind and seismic loads imposed on the tower, the design integrates structural systems, in both steel and reinforced concrete are utilized.

Among the structural innovations are integrated wind turbines. These turbines, which are fed from funnel-like openings in the façade, are supported on floor slabs occurring within the opening zones and are laterally braced against the floor above.

Bill Baker, SOM structural engineering partner, commented, “Structural engineering solutions must be integrated with the architectural and sustainable engineering designs so that they are inseparable. It is the collaboration between our structural engineering, architecture and sustainable engineering practices that allow a building such as Pearl River Tower to become reality.”

Pearl River Tower images:
Pearl River Tower Guangzhou Pearl River Tower China Pearl River Tower
images SOM | © Crystal CG

A series of other sustainable design and engineering elements, including solar panels, double skin curtain wall, chilled ceiling system, under floor ventilation air, and daylight harvesting all contribute to the building’s energy efficiency. While many of these sustainable attributes have been incorporated individually into skyscrapers around the world, the Pearl River Tower design represents the first time that they are used collectively.

“Pearl River Tower is a special building that stands as a landmark within the Guangzhou skyline,” said Mr. Ye Zhi Ming, General Manager of the Construction Office of Pearl River Tower. “SOM’s pioneering architectural and engineering vision for this office complex has resulted in a sophisticated, environmentally-smart building.”

For more than 50 years, SOM has been incorporating sustainable elements into design – long before “green” was called “green.” Throughout SOM’s history, as early as the 1950s, sustainability has been a part of the firm’s design criteria evident in such projects as the Inland Steel Building in Chicago, the Weyerhaeuser Corporate Headquarters in Washington, King Abdul Aziz International Airport – Hajj Terminal and National Commercial Bank in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

With deep architectural, engineering and design expertise in China, SOM has led numerous projects throughout the region, from executing large-scale master urban plans such as the Beijing CBD East Expansion and Chongming Island to designing iconic buildings like China’s first super-tall building, Jin Mao Tower, the current sixth world’s tallest building, Nanjing Greenland Financial Center, Kingold International in Guangzhou and the award-wining Poly International Plaza in Guangzhou and The New Beijing Poly Plaza.

Pearl River Tower is scheduled for completion later this year.

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) is one of the leading architecture, urban planning, interior design, and engineering firms in the world, with a 75-year reputation for design excellence and a portfolio that includes some of the most important architectural accomplishments of the 20th and 21st centuries. Since its inception, SOM has been a leader in the research and development of specialized technologies, new processes and innovative ideas, many of which have had a palpable and lasting impact on the design profession and the physical environment.

The US architecture firm’s longstanding leadership in design and building technology has been honored with more than 1,400 awards for quality, innovation, and management. The American Institute of Architects has twice recognized SOM with its highest honor, the Architecture Firm Award-in 1962 and again in 1996. In addition to Shanghai, the firm maintains offices in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., London, Hong Kong, Dubai and Brussels.

Pearl River Tower Guangzhou image / information from SOM

SOM Architects

Location: Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China

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Pearl River Tower Architect : Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

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picture from ZHA
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image : Information Based Architecture
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Jin Mao Tower, Pudong, Shanghai
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photo : Andrew McRae
Shanghai tower : tallest building in China

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