10 Year Award Finalist: Poly Real Estate Headquarters, Guangzhou

Stephen Wang
Executive Director of Poly USA
Poly Real Estate Development, Guangzhou

Javier Arizmendi
Design Director
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, San Francisco

Bringing Office Space Up into the Light

Poly International Plaza is an office and trade center development consisting of two towers, each coupled with a low-rise podium that accommodates exhibition and retail uses; the below-grade spaces include an exhibition hall and trade center. The two offset core towers, which include a thin bar of office space, maximize light transmission to their interiors. On the north, the towers’ forms are defined by floor-to-ceiling glass, shaded by vertical fins, and on the south they expose their structural framework. The towers advocate sustainable design through their use of natural light; natural ventilation; floor-by-floor mechanical systems; under-floor air distribution; shaded outdoor space; and green roofs.

Thanks to the towers’ innovative structural spine, and double lattice brace, the offset cores are light and transparent, and allow a high degree of openness to northern views; the glass elevators, staircases, restrooms, and terraces are all light-filled spaces. These terraces, which also act as emergency refuges, are the towers’ social hubs, thanks to their three-story floating lounges and meeting room spaces.

Poly International has passed the test over the ensuing decade, as evidenced by its many imitators since – off-set cores with multi-floor social mixing spaces have become almost de rigeur for office-space design today.

View Building on The Skyscraper Center