The latest stage in the mixed-use Beijing World Trade Center project, which has been adding buildings since the 1980s, architecturally topped out in November 2015 and cladding application is currently underway. The 316-metre Phase 3B joins the adjacent 2010-completed China World Tower — both designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill — in forming the second and third highest peaks on the Beijing skyline.
The exterior of the 59-storey tower features variously sized horizontal bands of canted glass. Likened to a pagoda or bamboo shoot, the building's sawtooth shape has practical applications. The slope of the curtain wall helps reduce glare and solar heat gain, decreasing energy usage in the process. The angle of the glass also grants self-cleaning properties to the facade during rainfall, a welcome design element in smoggy Beijing.
The slanted skyscraper decks decrease in prominence as the tower ascends and comes to a conclusion with a rounded crown. The interiors will house 120,800 square metres of office space, plus a 600-room hotel and accompanying amenities in a vast podium at the north end of the site.
Recent photos from the area show the cladding about five floors below the mechanical penthouse and crown, which is now wrapped in scaffolding. The outline of Phase 3B creates a dynamic silhouette on the skyline, standing in sharp contrast to the flat facade of the China World Tower. The development is expected to mark completion in 2017.
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