Guangzhou | Pearl River Tower by SOM

Guangzhou Pearl River Tower by SOM | November 10, 2009

Is it possible to design a skyscraper that harvests energy from its environment? SOM’s Pearl River Tower in Guangzhou claims so. From 2010 on this tower will be the headquarters of the Guangdong Tobacco Company. Snapshots from a curvilenair Zero-energy building under construction.

For lovers of ultra-sustainable skyscrapers, Emporis has some fun facts about Skidmore, Owings and Merrill’s building:

The Pearl River Tower has two major mechanical floors where turbines generate electricity from the wind blowing through the floors. Next to this, it is designed to be 58% more energy efficient than requirements stipulated by local building codes. At completion, the tower was designed to be the world’s most energy efficient super-tall tower ever built.

While crossing Guangzhou’s Tianhe District, we passed a couple of times the tobacco-tower: a rough, curvy steel and concrete structure, sculpted by cranes, gravity and engineering. All of the future high-tech architectural appliances are still absent: no double skin active curtain-wall system, south facade’s low-E-glass,  slab integrated cooling systems nor in-floor air displacement HVAC. What one sees is a complex shape of a 71-story tower having the architectural ambition to “absorb its environment and use it to its advantage.

Information on the engineering and technology can be found in Architectural Record and on Sincerely Sustainable. From MovingCities, some sincere snapshots.

Guangzhou Pearl River Tower by SOM | December 10, 2009

Pictures by movingcities.org

1 thought on “Guangzhou | Pearl River Tower by SOM”

  1. Perhaps, once finished the surface will look shiny and thus different, but currently without any skin the inlet’s for the turbines make me think the whole building has imploded inwards. Interesting that that one detail makes me question whether this is a pre-occupancy image or a post-lifecycle one..

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