High-profile architecture firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) recently revealed its latest skyscraper design. Slated for Hangzhou, China, the 280 m (919 ft)-tall tower will be defined by an unusual undulating facade and is expected to be completed by 2021.

The Hangzhou Wangchao Center will comprise a total floorspace of 125,000 sq m (1.3 million sq ft), spread over 54 floors, and include office, hotel, and retail space. The hotel will be situated towards the top of the building and feature a sky lobby at 206 m (675 ft)-high, offering great views of the city.

The tower's unusual-looking form, which will be clad in glass panels, isn't purely for aesthetic reasons, but also reflects challenges like a relatively cramped site and the need to mitigate the potentially crushing effects of heavy winds – something we previously spoke about at length with SOM's Bill Baker.

"The Hangzhou Wangchao Center's distinctive silhouette derives its form from an integrated design process that solves programmatic, structural, and environmental criteria," says SOM Design Partner Gary Haney. "Located at the intersection of several major transportation networks, the tower is a beacon of performance-driven design and is emblematic of Hangzhou's future as a new global destination."

The skyscraper was commissioned by developer Zhejiang Chengdao Properties Limited and is part of a larger development push in Hangzhou. The Chinese city will host the third Asian Games in 2022, following in the footsteps of Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Source: SOM

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