Goettsch Partners (GP) has been selected as the winning firm in the competition to design the Soochow Securities Headquarters, the new office and stock exchange building for Soochow Securities Co. Ltd. The 21-story, 441,300-square-foot project includes 344,400 square feet of office space, an 86,100-square-foot stock exchange, meeting rooms, classrooms, a cafeteria, and underground parking for 400 cars and 800 bicycles.
Representing GP’s 12th project in the city of Suzhou, the building will coincidentally be located across the street from the firm’s first Suzhou commission—also the firm’s first project in China—the 572,000-square-foot Suzhou International Tower, completed in 1999. Since then, GP has designed several other office buildings, hotels and mixed-use complexes throughout the city.
Within Suzhou, the project is sited along the western edge of Jinji Lake in Suzhou Industrial Park, a major new commercial and mixed-use district outside the city center. Prominently anchoring a major boulevard that leads to central Suzhou, the building is conceived as a modern gateway to the historic city center. The triangular massing design responds contextually to the view corridors of the city and lake, the solar orientation of the site, as well as the diagonally approaching major artery. The triangular form is also seen symbolically in China as a balanced and stable form, an image well suited to a stock exchange headquarters.
The signature feature of the design is a soaring internal atrium that rises the full height of the building. The interconnectivity of the atrium creates a commanding presence, allowing access to natural light and views from all locations within. The atrium is envisioned to serve as an integrated component of the HVAC system, creating a tempered buffer zone, which increases ventilation through the natural stack effect of the high-rise tower. The increased ventilation will help to promote a higher indoor-air quality which, coupled with better access to natural light and views, provides a more optimal work environment for the tower employees.
The building enclosure is designed to minimize the overall energy consumption of the building. The triangular building form creates a self-shading massing that minimizes the east and west exposure, allowing for easier control of solar gain along the south facade. A high-performance shingled tower facade is employed to provide passive shading during the warmest summer months. This facade is framed by a highly articulated stone-and-glass system, which provides additional shading to the building interiors. Other sustainable design features include vegetated mini-atriums, native plantings and building heat recovery.
Goettsch Partners is a Chicago-based architecture firm providing innovative architectural, interior, planning and building enclosure design services. With additional offices in Shanghai and Abu Dhabi, the firm’s work spans four continents. Recently completed projects include premier office towers in Beijing, Chicago and Shanghai, and luxury business hotels in China, India and the United States. Select current projects include the 25-story vertical addition to Chicago’s 300 East Randolph, the headquarters of Health Care Service Corporation and its Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois division; Northwestern University’s new signature music building in Evanston, Illinois; the China Diamond Exchange Center in Shanghai, a 214-room Wyndham hotel in the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and a 3 million-square-foot office development in Abu Dhabi that features the headquarters building of the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.