Beijing

Bank of China Head Office Building

I. M. Pei & Partners

Materials utilized

Emperador Dark

Classic Travertine

Campanili

Botticino

This project built in Beijing, China, balances time, place and purpose in a building whose spatial complexity, structural stability and highquality execution advance both the process and product of architecture. The design speaks of Beijing, enriching the community through a harmonious balance between architecture and nature. Original and innovative in design, the building nourishes the future on the cultural roots of the past. While Beijing's building guidelines have given rise to large masses of buildings, uniform in height and setback, the new office development creates a contemporary standard to Chinese architecture; a building that is open and inviting. The 1,880,000 squarefoot building houses 3,000 employees, a 2,000seat auditorium, a monumental banking hall, a reception hall, dining and other employee services, and a parking facility for 500 cars and 2,000 bicycles, all within Beijing's 150foot height limit. Clad in travertine, the exterior conveys solidity and stability and reinforces the street corridor, a unifying element for a city historically defined by its walls. As the first travertine building ever executed in China, the honeycolored stone adds to the building's inviting quality, while masking the yellow dust blown in seasonally from the Gobi Desert. Over 430,000 square feet of travertine were cut from a single quarry and given the same finish, so that an unusual sense of cohesion is accomplished between the interior and the exterior. The building consists of two L-shaped wings, embracing a 32,500 squarefoot central garden court. The executive offices front on Xidan and Changanije, Beijing's major thoroughfares. A 195 foot tall glass wall rises at the juncture of the executive wing. The garden focuses on a group of natural rocks from the outer rings of China's Stone Forest National Park. 50foot high bamboo and paired moon windows frame the space, capturing the essence of the garden in partial glimpses from the perimeter circulation areas. The new office building is now one of the country's most architecturally and technologically advanced buildings. Sophistication resulted from careful crafting by a team of international experts working in tandem with local labor sources.

Text by Pei Partnership Architects llp