Biophilic design helps this office building breathe

Environment News

The Shenzhen Rural Commercial Bank headquarters in China is a vibrant, breathtaking building by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. The project is a 94,049 square meter biophilic design made to respond to the area’s tropical climate through several unique and sound ventilation strategies.

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A green park in front of a biophilic design skyscraper.

With a glass exterior wrapped in a cross-lattice-shaped fa├žade, this building is anything but boring. The facade elevates the building’s design and has a practical, sustainable purpose. Automatic louvers in the vertical atria cross the full height of the tower, along with mechanized window openings on each office floor. It makes the building breathe.

Related: Biophilic Treehouse Suggests a Greener Office Experience

An office building along the road.

The building’s exterior grille is designed to prevent the view from being obstructed while still providing shade. Designers say they were inspired by water and wind. They even included a multi-story indoor water wall in the foyer.

The entrance to a building with a crossroads outside.

The most unique to the building is its seasonal air-flushing function in the common areas and office levels. It keeps fresh air circulating for optimal health of the occupant. The mechanized window openings allow the building to “breathe” on Shenzhen’s good weather days and avoid the typical stuffy office feel.

The exterior of a building with a crisscross exterior.

The designers say their work often focuses on structural engineering solutions. This project’s sun shade reduces solar power increase by 34% and reduces glare without losing natural daylight. Another advantage of this design is the lack of columns in the interior, which allows flexible interior design options on any floor. In addition, automatic sunscreen blinds work 24 hours a day to maintain optimal light levels.

A foyer with glass walls and plants inside.

For maximum relaxation and comfort in the building, trees and ground cover were planted in the foyer. Small gardens blend into a nearby outdoor park and make the otherwise polished and clean office building feel like a welcoming greenhouse and botanical garden. With all these smart features, the building is geared towards LEED Platinum and China Green Star certification.


Via ArchDaily

Images via SOM

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