Press Releases

SOM Completes Twin Towers in Nanchang

SOM, in celebration with Greenland Group, is proud to announce that construction has completed on the twin towers that anchor the Jiangxi Nanchang Greenland Central Plaza, Parcel A project. The identical towers stand 303 meters tall and 100 meters apart to anchor an emerging business, civic, and residential zone in Nanchang’s booming new city, and their shapes morph from base to top: At ground level the towers are square in plan to provide optimal site access, while at their crowns, the squares are rotated 45 degrees to align the buildings with prime views of the Ganjiang River. The curved forms also resulted from cold-bent glass, whose use has been advanced by SOM and the glass and construction industries for achieving the most fluid three-dimensional shapes possible. Each glass panel within the facades has been warped as much as 1.5 percent out of plane to achieve a consistently reflective, luminous appearance. SOM conducted extensive research to determine how far to push each panel out of plane, in order to ensure long-term durability and architectural soundness of the panels and their sealants. 

Inside, both towers offer 59 stories of leasable office space anchored by a transparent ground-floor lobby. Visitors and occupants enter each tower through an elegant freestanding canopy that barely touches the ground due to a complex cable-net support system. The expression of the cable geometry is carried into both lobbies, where a separate, anticlastic cable-net system supports the glass panels that enclose each space. At each level, the geometry of the structural cores mimics the footprint of the floorplate to ensure that lease depths remain constant on all sides. This remains true even as the towers change shape over their height. The clear lease depths also allow for optimal views.

At the top of each tower, the design team precisely spaced and angled glass panels to create porous crowns. The crown design maximizes porosity in the prevailing wind direction, in order to minimize wind loading at the base of the towers. At the same time, it minimizes porosity in the dominant visual direction, making the towers’ distinct shapes appear to dissolve into the horizon and creating a strong statement on Nanchang’s developing skyline.

During the five years of implementation on this project, SOM provided site master-planning services and an excellent master plan concept. In close collaboration with Greenland’s technical team SOM also addressed a series of technical challenges, including structure, curtain wall, the exterior building maintenance system, and others. SOM’s advanced design concepts and its professional dedication have been reflected throughout the entire project planning and construction process. This high-profile urban complex, completed at the end of 2014, was created for Greenland Group and Nanchang City, and has received many positive comments from the Greenland Group and the people of Nanchang. I appreciate very much SOM’s efforts, and look forward to cooperating with SOM on many future projects.
— Dr. Wu Mingang, Technical Director, Greenland Group Jiangxi Real Estate Division 

SOM’s strong partnership with Greenland Group dates to 2004. High-profile projects in Nanjing and Zhengzhou have been completed, and the two companies are currently working together to complete four projects in Nanchang: the Nanchang Greenland Airport New City Master Plan, the Nanchang Greenland Expo Center, the Jiangxi Nanchang Greenland Zifeng Tower, and the Greenland Nanchang Xiangshan South Road Parcel A and C. Additional projects are also underway in Beijing, Qingdao, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Foshan, and Hainan. In 2015, SOM and Greenland are looking forward to expanding their partnership internationally to projects located across Asia and the world. 

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.