The Chicago office of SOM recently completed a 55-story tower—called the Beijing Greenland Center—in the Dawangjing business district of Beijing. The mixed-use project is clad in a trapezoidal facade that’s meant to catch and reflect daylight in the often overcast city. The Beijing Greenland Center is comprised of Class A office space and 178 apartments on top of a multi-story retail podium.

SOM was also responsible for the masterplanning of the Dawangjing business district. The mixed-use development is located between Beijing’s historic core and the Beijing Capital International Airport, northeast of the city. Along with the Beijing Greenland Center, SOM has also designed several other towers for the district.

The tower’s trapezoidal skin is part of building’s sustainability systems. The undulating trapezoids provide self-shading on all sides of the building. Other sustainable systems include a Direct Digital Control building automation system, a heat reclaim wheel, and water-side economizer to utilize evaporative cooling. These systems account for an estimated 30% reduction in energy use and water consumption compared to baseline.

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