This 700,000 SF development for the Bank of Communications of China was designed to reflect local cultural and architectural influences in Suzhou, which is known as a city of gardens.
The building is comprised of two components: a 22-story tower, with executive and corporate offices above a ground floor banking hall, and an adjoining four-story podium housing public banking facilities, meeting rooms and an employee cafeteria. Glassy, elevated pedestrian bridges connect the tower with the podium and serve to enclose the garden.
With its re-entrant angled corners and a screen-like curtain wall, the building’s shape resembles a typical garden gate motif. Nestled between the tower and podium is an open-air garden, whose landscaping follows the naturalistic style for which Suzhou is famous.
Open office space is located on the east side of the building, creating open floor plans that allow for natural ventilation and abundant day lighting with views of the neighboring lake. Shaped to provide shade from the sun, pleated window walls on the east and west elevations present a glassy, informal counterpoint to the more formal expression of punched window openings that characterize the north and south facades. A roof-top garden caps both the tower and podium and serves as a restful green space for staff and executive functions. The office tower drop-off and lobby for staff is on the East facade, while the main formal public entrance is centered on the South facade of the tower.