“Leeza SOHO tower”, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, has opened in China with the world’s tallest atrium. The project anchors Beijing’s new Fengtai business district — a growing financial and transport hub between the city centre and the recently opened international airport to the south.
The 45-storey Leeza Soho skyscraper, designed by the late Zaha Hadid in Beijing, China, contains the world’s tallest atrium twisting through its centre. Designed by the late founder of Zaha Hadid Architects before her death in 2016, the skyscraper is located in the Fengtai business district.
The new district is integral to the Chinese capital’s multi-modal urban plan to accommodate growth without impacting existing infrastructure networks in the centre of the city. As part of the masterplan, the 45-storey 172,800 square meter tower provides small and medium-sized businesses with flexible and efficient grade A office space.
Commissioned by Soho China, the developer of Galaxy Soho and Wangjing Soho, this imposing architectural building contains a mix of shops and offices surrounding the giant atrium. Now complete, the Leeza Soho has 45 floors above ground, and four floors below it.
It is positioned on a site adjacent to the business district’s rail station and straddles an underground subway service tunnel. Its position over this tunnel led Zaha Hadid Architects to divide the modern building into two halves, which resulted in the formation of a giant atrium at its centre. This atrium runs the full height of the building, which at 194.15 metres makes it the world’s tallest atrium, overtaking the void in the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai.
As it rises, the Zaha Hadid Architects creation’s void twists by 45 degrees to appear as though the two sides of the tower are moving together. This also aligns the tower’s upper levels with views onto Lize Road – one of west Beijing’s main streets.
The dynamic shape of the atrium creates convex openings on either side of the imposing building, which allow natural light into the interiors and provide views out over the city from each floor.
The two halves of the Leeza Soho are connected internally by elevated walkways that project across the void from four different levels, while externally they are connected by a glass curtain facade. This glass facade is double insulated and is made up of a number of glass panels that are angled to aid ventilation. The intention behind this decision from Zaha Hadid Architects is to help maintain a comfortable indoor climate in Beijing’s variable weather conditions.
In a bid to enhance the modern building‘s environmental performance, Zaha Hadid Architects fitted the tower with heat recovery from exhaust air and high-efficiency pumps, water-collection facilities, grey water flushing and an insulating green roof with photovoltaic panels. There are also 2,680 bicycles parking spaces with lockers and shower facilities, alongside charging spaces for electric or hybrid cars to encourage users to travel sustainability.
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