In China’s capital city, Zaha Hadid Architects has completed the Leeza SOHO tower, a 45-story skyscraper that boasts the world’s largest atrium at 194.15 meters in height. Designed to anchor the new Fengtai business district in southwest Beijing, the futuristic tower is wrapped in a double-insulated unitized glass curtain wall system that curves around its twisting, sculptural form. In addition to double glazing, the Leeza SOHO incorporates water collection, low-flow fixtures, a green roof, photovoltaic panels and other sustainable measures to meet LEED Gold standards.

tower with void in the middle that serves as an atrium

Set atop an underground subway service tunnel, Leeza SOHO was strategically sited next to the business district’s rail station at the intersection of five new lines that are currently under construction. The tunnel that bisects the tower splits the building into two halves; the resulting void in between has been turned into an atrium that acts as a new public square.

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view from ground to ceiling of a glass tower atrium
dark curving hallway

In addition to providing panoramic views of the city, the rotated atrium also brings daylight deep into the building and doubles as a thermal chimney with an integrated ventilation system to bring clean air to the interiors. Indoor comfort is further achieved with the low-E, double-insulated glazing that ensures stable temperatures.

glass tower interior
close-up of glass tower

To meet LEED Gold standards, Leeza SOHO features an advanced 3D BIM energy management system to monitor real-time environmental control and energy efficiency. Energy-saving measures include heat recovery from exhaust air; high-efficiency equipment such as pumps, fans and lighting; low-flow water fixtures and gray water flushing. Low-VOC materials were selected to minimize interior pollutants.

close-up of sun shining through glass tower
sunset viewed through void in a glass tower

Occupants and visitors can also enjoy plenty of bicycle parking, with 2,680 spaces available, as well as lockers and shower facilities. Underground, there are also dedicated charging spaces for electric and hybrid cars.

+ Zaha Hadid Architects

Images by Hufton+Crow / Zaha Hadid Architects