Intersecting globalization with tradition

Samy Mansour
Tuesday 23 Sep 2008

Perkins + Will’s Chevron Headquarters in Nanjing demonstrates globalization whilst maintaining Chinese tradition

The project is a headquarters for a manufacturer of power tools. The client’s business exemplifies the process of globalization, with global markets combining with local labor. The architecture represents this process by emphasizing the intersection of the contemporary and traditional. It symbolizes this intersection of global and local by reinventing the vernacular in a contemporary context.

The zig-zag contemplative path found in traditional Chinese gardens serves as the organizing device for the departments of the headquarters which are broken into five distinct wings. A sloping green roof unifies the massing of the five wings and also covers areas to form roof terraces for employees. A glass pavilion element intersected by a vertical shaft of metal, which represents the client’s product, acts as a lobby and entrance element. Water is used extensively as a visual and environmental element in the courtyards as in traditional Chinese gardens. Thus, the sloping solid mass of the building combined with water symbolize the tradition of the “mountain-water garden.”

Key Facts:

Civic Buildings
Architecture
China

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