Press Releases

“Favorite High Rise Building” for Staff of China’s Number One Developer Completed by SOM

Chicago: Construction is complete on the Jiangxi Nanchang Greenland Zifeng Tower, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) and located in the Gaoxin District of Nanchang, China. The building was voted this year’s “favorite completed high-rise building” by the nationwide technical staff of the Greenland Group, the building’s owner and China’s leading development company.

The elegant simplicity of the 268-meter, 56-story tower contributed to the “favorite building” recognition in voting by hundreds of Greenland staff prior to the state-owned company’s annual leadership meeting, according to the design team at SOM Chicago. A defined rectangular massing emphasized by a strong diagrid shading fin system and a unique “Great Window” gives the building a striking presence on the Nanchang skyline, creating a new, iconic tower at the center of the new high-tech zone.

Office floors occupy the bottom two-thirds of the tower. InterContinental’s new Hua Lux brand hotel stacks on top of this zone, occupying the tower’s top 20 stories. This change in program is expressed by the Great Window—a distinct aperture carved into the tower’s mass. Formally, the Great Window transitions the floor plates to a suitable size and layout for the hotel function. Aesthetically, it marks the tower with a strong design, distinguishing it from the other towers that compose Nanchang’s urban fabric.

SOM’s integrated architecture and engineering approach allowed for the inclusion of high performance systems, including the aluminum triangular sun-shading fins that trace up the building’s four faces. The fins shade the tower, preventing excessive solar heat gain and glare to the interior. The fin intersections are a structural node with integrated white LED lights that, when illuminated at night, make the system’s diagrid pattern and the tower’s rectangular form glow across Gaoxin. The system is part of a comprehensive suite of high performance architecture and engineering elements that have won the tower LEED® Silver accreditation.

The integration of architecture and landscape results in a cohesive design extending from the ground plane to the building facades and podium rooftop. Visitors are immersed in an experiential landscape from their arrival to the site from transit lines located at the south end of the project site.

A longtime SOM client, the Greenland Group is China’s largest property developer by sales volume. Awarding the Nanchang Zifeng Tower with a top recognition is a great honor. “It is extremely gratifying for our design team to be recognized by their many friends and colleagues within the Greenland Group. And SOM very much appreciates their longstanding commitment to bringing great design to the skylines of China’s cities,” said SOM Managing Director, Michael Pfeffer.

Greenland’s Dr. Wu Mingang, Technical Director of the Greenland Group Jiangxi Real Estate Division, also acknowledged the honor. “It is an important moment every year for our technical team leaders to express their appreciation for work well done by voting in a number of project categories. Greenland Group is pleased that this year’s choice for best completed high-rise building is SOM Chicago’s Nanchang Zifeng Tower.”

Since 2004, SOM has teamed with the Greenland Group to design and complete more than 10 buildings across China. 

About Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) is one of the leading architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning 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 firm’s longstanding leadership in design and building technology has been honored with more than 1,700 awards for quality, innovation, and management. The American Institute of Architects has recognized SOM twice with its highest honor, the Architecture Firm Award—in 1962 and again in 1996. The firm maintains offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Abu Dhabi.