One of the many works that famous architect Zaha Hadid designed before her death in March last year is now halfway constructed. The mixed-use Leeza Soho skyscraper, in Beijing, has recently reached level 20 and when completed it will rise to a height of 207 meters. An astounding twisting atrium – set to be the world’s tallest – splits the interior of this 46-storey tower.

Anchoring Lize Financial District — a new business, residential and transport hub in southwest Beijing — the 172,800-square-meter (1,860,000-square-foot) tower sits right on top of a new subway interchange station, and will offer connection to it.

The new subway tunnel diagonally divides the building into two halves which are connected by an enormous central atrium. The atrium extends 190 meters through the full height of the building and is expected to be the world’s tallest, surpassing Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai.

The tower will reach its full 207 meters of height in September this year, with completion planned for late 2018. Render © MIR

As the tower rises, the diagonal axis is re-aligned by ‘twisting’ the atrium through 45 degrees to orientate the higher floors with the east-west axis of Lize Road, one of west Beijing’s main avenues.

The atrium’s ‘twist’ allows natural light and views of the city from each floor. Sky bridges on different levels and a double-insulated glass façade unite the two halves of the tower together within a single cohesive envelope.

Connecting with the interchange station below, the atrium will be a new public space for the city. Outside, a new public piazza will surround the tower, echoing its circular form at the centre of the new financial district and welcoming visitors inside.

The double-insulated, unitised glass curtain-wall system steps the glazing units on each floor at an angle, allowing ventilation through an operable cavity when required. The goal is to create and maintain an extremely comfortable indoor environment in Beijing’s well known extreme weather conditions. An energy management system will also monitor real-time environmental control and energy efficiency within the tower.

In addition, 2,680 bicycle parking spaces with lockers and shower facilities are provided, as well as charging spaces for electric/hybrid cars that are located below the ground.

Construction of Leeza Soho is being developed by Soho China and will reach its full 207 meters of height in September this year. The super realistic renders above by MIR give us a foretaste of how the tower will look like on completion, which is planned for late 2018.

Source: Zaha Hadid Architects

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