The Shenzhen Rural Commercial Bank Headquarters in China is a living, breathing 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 multiple unique and healthy ventilation strategies.

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A green park in front of a biophilic design skyscraper.

With a glass exterior wrapped in a crisscrossed grid-shaped facade, this building is anything but boring. The facade elevates the building’s design and has a practical, sustainable purpose. Automated louvers in the vertical atria cross the full height of the tower, along with mechanized window vents on every office floor. This allows the building to breathe.

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An office building by the road.

The building’s exterior grid is designed to avoid obstructing the view while still providing shade. Designers say they were inspired by water and wind. They even included a multi-story interior water wall in the lobby.

The entrance to a building with a crisscross exterior.

Most unique about the building is its seasonal air flushing function in the common areas and office levels. This keeps fresh air circulating for optimal occupant health. The mechanized window vents allow the building to “breathe” on Shenzhen’s good weather days and avoid the typical stuffy office feeling.

The exterior of a building with a crisscross exterior.

The designers say their work often focuses on structural engineering solutions. This project’s solar shading reduces solar gain by 34% and reduces glare without losing natural daylight. Another benefit of this design is the lack of columns in the interior space, which allows flexible interior design options on any floor. Additionally, automated solar control blinds operate around the clock to maintain optimal light levels.

A lobby with glass walls and plants inside.

For maximum relaxation and comfort in the building, trees and ground cover have been planted in the lobby. Small gardens blend into a nearby park outdoors and help the otherwise polished and clean office building feel like a welcoming greenhouse and botanical garden. With all of these smart features, the building is targeting LEED Platinum and China Green Star certification.


Via ArchDaily

Images via SOM