Winner: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Award: Merit Award for Architecture
Anchoring the skyline in Ningbo Eastern New City, Zhejiang province, the Ningbo Bank of China tower is the newest landmark in the city’s financial district. Surrounded by a landscaped public plaza, the 50-story tower serves as headquarters of one of the nation’s fastest growing banks and stands as a gathering place for the neighborhood in the heart of the financial district.
Clad in a sweeping curtain of glass, the tower integrates a porous metal diagrid canopy to cap a pedestrian-level podium and shelter, with a rooftop garden. Inside the podium, an open, three-story lobby provides full-service banking and houses a private employee cafeteria on the fourth floor.
Each floor of the tower rotates one degree and steps in 100mm around the central core to create a seamless, twisting form from base to crown. All floors utilize 48 perimeter mini-columns draped vertically to avoid structural torque and provide an identical framework for flexible, column-free lease spaces.
Ample natural light permeates the interiors, which provide shifting vantage points of the city, mountains and sea, and a public open-air crown provides sweeping panoramic views, 246 meters above street level.
The tower also features a comprehensive sustainability scheme, including smart appliances, recycled building materials, individual controls for lighting and thermal systems, improved insulation, and a façade punctuated with translucent fins between high-performance glass panels, mitigating solar gain.
A modern embodiment of Ningbo’s history of banking, the new Bank of China reinforces the company’s reputation as a leading institution in China.