BIM applied to the design, construction and management of the Leeza Soho Tower in Beijing, one of the latest projects designed by Zaha Hadid Architects
The recently completed Leeza Soho Tower is located in the new business district of Fengtai, a financial center and transport hub between the city center and Daxing International Airport in Beijing.
The 172,800 m², 45-story tower meets the demand of small and medium-sized businesses in Beijing for a flexible and efficient office space.
The tower is located at the intersection of five new subway rail lines that have defined the building’s unique shape.
In fact, the team of architects has chosen to stick to the urban conformation and the result of their project saw two separate twin towers built on either side of the subway line, but enclosed by a single facade shell and joined by four structural bridges, also called sky bridges, connecting the void that separates the two halves of the Leeza Soho.
As the two blocks with the central void rise, the tower diagonal axis is twisted through 45 degrees in such a way as to bring the top floors in line with Lize Road below.
The emerging space between these two halves extends over the entire height of the tower, creating the world’s tallest atrium at 194.15 m.
This rotation of the atrium weaves the two halves of the Leeza Soho Tower in a dynamic balance with bridges connecting the levels 13, 24, 35 and 45; its glazed facade offers panoramic views over the city.
Leeza Soho’s atrium works as a public square for the new business district, connecting all the spaces inside the tower and offering different views thanks to its twisted and sculptural shape: a new civic space for Beijing directly connected to the transport network of the city.
The atrium brings natural light deep inside the building, also acting as a thermal chimney for the integrated ventilation system. A combination of concrete and wide-flange steel has been used in the construction of the tower’s structural system.
Each of Leeza Soho’s two halves has its own structural core that follows the curvilinear external shape of the tower, with steel tension rings surrounding each floor plate. The four aerial bridges that connect the towers are made of steel beams and columns, which provide the right resistance to bending stresses.
The building is wrapped in a double-glazing low-emission facade, ensuring optimal temperature control and low energy consumption, considering the extreme climatic conditions in which this structure is inserted.
At the forefront of Building Information Modeling (BIM) in design and construction, Zaha Hadid Architects and SOHO China have implemented proven technologies to reduce energy consumption and emissions.
The intent is to obtain the LEED Gold Certication, a new architectural eco-compatibility standard. For this reason, Leeza SOHO’s advanced 3D BIM energy management system monitors real-time environmental control and energy efficiency.
Heat recovery from exhaust air and pumps, fans, refrigeration boilers, lighting and high efficiency controls are also included in the systems. The tower incorporates appliances for the collection of water, low-flow rate and greywater flushing, as well as an insulating green roof with a photovoltaic system to collect solar energy.
With a u value of 2.0 W / m²K, the glazing has a shading coefficient of 0.4. The overall u-value of the outer envelope of the tower is 0.55 W / m²K.
I design powerful, changeable, fluid shapes and I always think of what effect they would have if they floated in space.