KSP concept for Air China HQ responds effortlessly to changing weather conditions
KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten International has won the international competition entitled 'Blue Sky Building Project' for the Air China headquarters in the major west Chinese city Chengdu. With its design for the high-rise, the international team from Frankfurt/Main and Beijing saw off five other entries. The office boasts a gross surface area (GSA) of 124,000 sq m and offers space for a total of 5,470 workspaces. The fact that the high-rise design should serve as a role model with regard to energy efficiency and sustainability is of major concern to the developer.
For this reason a special solution was found for the façade of the 180m high tower: What are referred to as fins, which protrude from the tower’s glass and, through convection, transport the surplus heat outside, thereby cooling the building. Particularly in a region with subtropical humidity and a high average annual temperature of approx. 17° C (Chengdu), one of the objectives was to dissipate unwanted excessive heat as effectively as possible. The development of innovative, highly effective sun protection is another important aspect of this holistic energy engineering.
The novel sun and heat protection screen responds highly sensitively and almost without transition to the various natural weather conditions, as well as to the demands placed on it by building services engineering, and to user needs. The thin, film-like material used for the sun protection is given different coatings. Depending on the type and level of translucence, it serves as glare protection, as highly reflective sun protection, or as an insulating skin, which in winter reflects thermal radiation inwards and as such, like Heat Mirror glass, counters heat loss. Invisible from the outside, the sun protection is located in the closed cavity façade. This is a sealed double façade with no outward ventilation, which ensures that dust and harmful substances cannot enter the building unfiltered.
The shape of the tower with its rounded corners and side fins emphasises aviation motifs. However, they are not just based on deliberations relating to aerodynamics and energy efficiency. The triangular geometry of the footprint is also down to the layout of the plot of land and it as functions as an ‘urban hinge’. Furthermore, the slight curvature of the longitudinal façades emphasises the verticality and slenderness of the tower. The office space is located on storeys 6 to 44, and through two escape and technology storeys on levels 15 and 30 is divided into three sections. A sky lounge and restaurant are envisaged on the 45th floor.