Right on the money

Wednesday 27 Apr 2011

Bold architectural statement now onsite in Hangzhou Qian Jiang New City

Foster + Partners’ first project the Chinese industrial centre of Hangzhou has officially broken ground. The 100m high crystalline headquarters for CITIC Bank features a standout 30m A-frame canopy which stretches 72m across the ground floor, creating a memorable entrance experience.

Located on a busy axis through Hangzhou Qian Jiang New City - the new CBD currently under construction - the internal layout of the 20 storey headquarters bears some resemblance to Foster’s famous Hong Kong Shanghai Bank HQ completed in 1986.

Similar to its highly acclaimed predecessor the CITIC Bank features an expansive atrium which dominates the internal volume, rising up through the building’s full height. Commercial facilities and office amenities are arranged around this central unit.

A key characteristic of this new project is the front façade which is pulled inwards near the base to form a symmetrical V-shape across the south-facing elevation. Separating it from its neighbours in this thriving industrial quarter, the bronze-hued diagrid latticework on the building’s exterior makes a strong commercial statement, both for the bank and the architecture practice that designed it.

The floor plates within the facility widen as the tower rises, expanding to offer its users widepan views of the river and nearby public plaza. A small rectilinear footprint is exploited in this fashion, affording maximum utilisation for the bank’s employees while respecting the building’s neighbours, with tiered sky gardens providing the desired flora for employees and visiting businesspeople.

David Nelson, Head of Design at Foster + Partners, said: “The tower has a prominent location in Hangzhou, next to one of the city’s most recognisable landmarks - our challenge has been to create a new building, which harmonises with its surroundings, yet has its own integrity and presence. It is great to see work start on site.”

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