Awards, SOM in the Press

Poly International Plaza Wins Award of Excellence

Photo © Tim Griffith

Source: Architectural Record

Poly International Center in Guangzhou, China, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) is a Class-A office park on the Pearl River Delta. The firm had already designed a successful building for the Poly Real Estate Group in Beijing, and the client’s “expectations were fairly high” for the new project, according to SOM design partner Brian Lee, FAIA. “They wanted a piece of architecture with an identity, but it also had to be a performer.”

Lee’s team responded to the challenge with a pair of 30-story offset-core towers. A three-story open veranda doubles as a refuge floor midway up the tower, and reduces live loads by allowing wind to pass through the tower. The lattice structure attached to the buildings’ southern facade takes most of the lateral loads and, as an added benefit, reduces solar gain by about half (no small consideration in Guangzhou, where temperatures peak above 100 degrees Fahrenheit). The efficient frame conserved steel by around 15 percent, lowering the cost of construction.

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