SOM’s newest building at Beijing’s China World Trade Center (CWTC) complex

Courtesy of

Ground will be broken on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 for Skidmore Owing & Merrill LLP (SOM)’s newest building at ’s China World Trade Center (CWTC) complex. The 58-story Phase 3B Tower features sleek horizontal bands of canted glass that wrap the building’s square floor plates. The 918-feet (280-meters) tall icon will be located immediately northeast of the 74-story, SOM-designed China World Trade Center Tower 3, completed in 2010—which is the tallest building in the Chinese capital. More images and complete press release after the break.

Courtesy of SOM

“The form is evocative,” SOM Design Partner Brian Lee says. “It could be a bamboo shoot or a pagoda, but it’s driven by practical issues.” The exterior curtain wall is 3 degrees off vertical to make the façade self-cleaning in Beijing’s dirty air. The cant decreases glare to occupants and the reflection of light results in an 8 percent reduction in energy loads.

Courtesy of SOM

The new CWTC Tower 3B will have 1.32-million-square-feet (123,000-square-meters), comprising offices, a 600-room hotel and associated amenities. The structure is a steel and concrete composite system using a reinforced concrete core with composite moment frame columns. The building is designed to achieve LEED™ Gold certification.

Cite: Jordana, Sebastian. "SOM’s newest building at Beijing’s China World Trade Center (CWTC) complex" 08 May 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>
  • Jazzy

    No drawings? And the renders don’t even properly show Beijing’s complex urban context? Yet another superficial ‘ICON’ SOM is shamelessly building in China… And on a purely formal note, does anyone see Shanghai’s Jinmao in the stepped curtain wall design?

    • Oscarinho

      Yes, a mix between Jin mao tower and Taipei 101.

      • Chico

        Indeed. But it’s mixed in a tragic way.

  • Turo

    Except SOM is not building in China. Last I checked they were a design firm. The Chinese do the building. Get a grip of the process and business.

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