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SOM designs pleated façade for Star River Headquarters for optimal daylighting and views

Office Buildings

SOM designs pleated façade for Star River Headquarters for optimal daylighting and views

The 48-floor tower features high-performance curtain wall systems and thermal insulation that reduce cooling loads and improve comfort.


By Novid Parsi, Contributing Editor  | April 2, 2024
Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
The tower features a pleated facade that ascends in a parabolic taper, creating vertical planes of light and shadow that contribute to its unique character. Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM

In Guangzhou, China, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has designed the recently completed Star River Headquarters to minimize embodied carbon, reduce energy consumption, and create a healthy work environment. The 48-story tower is located in the business district on Guangzhou’s Pazhou Island.

The tower’s pleated façade ascends in a parabolic taper, which reduces wind loads while creating vertical planes of light and shadow. This design provides shading to reduce direct sunlight while at the same time allowing diffuse daylight to enter the interior spaces. In addition, the envelope’s high-performance curtain wall systems and thermal insulation reduce cooling loads and improve indoor comfort.

Building design features rounded corners, open floor plates

Individual bays formed by the pleats can accommodate both open and closed offices on the building’s perimeter. The building’s rounded corners are free of columns, creating open floor plates with views of the Pearl River.

Mullions that run the entire building height of 259.5 meters (851 feet) integrate operable panels, so occupants have direct access to fresh air. The building’s crown features a latticed structure containing a greenhouse with heritage plants and a pavilion with a reflecting pool.

The building is located on a public plaza with native landscaping and paved areas around the glass-enclosed lobby. The building’s canopy wraps around the base and extends above a retail building, forming a covered pedestrian arcade. This design also conceals the mechanical spaces on the block’s edge. Visitors can access the retail offerings and subway connection below grade.

The building management system includes environmental control standards, plant monitoring, and a user interface that allows for efficient operations.

On the Building Team:
Owner/developer: Guangzhou Star River Commercial Investment And Development Co, Ltd.
Design architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)
Architect of record: Guangzhou Design Institution
MEP engineer and structural engineer: SOM
General contractor: Zhongtian Construction Group Co., Ltd.
Interior design: ChengChung + Design
Lighting design: Leox Design Partnership|
Façade consultant: Shanghai PFT Construction Consulting Co.

Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Star River Headquarters, designed by SOM. Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Star River Headquarters, designed by SOM. Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Star River Headquarters, designed by SOM. Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Star River Headquarters, designed by SOM. Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Star River Headquarters, designed by SOM. Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Star River Headquarters, designed by SOM. Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Star River Headquarters, designed by SOM. Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Star River Headquarters, designed by SOM. Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Star River Headquarters, designed by SOM. Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Star River Headquarters, designed by SOM. Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Star River Headquarters, designed by SOM. Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Star River Headquarters, designed by SOM. Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Star River Headquarters, designed by SOM. Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Star River Headquarters, designed by SOM. Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Star River Headquarters, designed by SOM. Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Star River Headquarters, designed by SOM. Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM
Photo by Seth Powers, courtesy SOM

 

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