Commissioned by Sunshine Insurance Group, a Beijing-based insurance company, the 34-story, mixed-use tower provides a new center for the burgeoning tourist area of Sanya Bay—the second southernmost city of China—and a flagship location for the client. Conceived as a collaborative project between the firm’s San Francisco and Beijing studios, it serves the coastal location with a 270-room luxury hotel and 18 stories of office space.
The foundation of the site is marked by lush, landscaped grounds along the vertical axis of the master plan. A series of low-scale garden pavilions and gardens are developed on the site which are inspired by “a strand of pearls,” strategy acclimating visitors to buildings on the site. Because the seaside destination is humid and windy, several indigenous trees and flora have been placed at the office building’s entries to maintain the immediate temperature of the grounds and break up the strong winds from the ocean. The effect is an urban oasis in the middle of what is often referred to as “the Hawaii of China” by Chinese locals.
At its base, the main tower is complemented by a series of tiered, multilevel podiums that focus on the people who live near and work in the building as well as the surrounding urban context-concepts that are de rigeur for the firm’s work in China. Acting as a community link, the four orb-shaped edifices connect to the outdoor common spaces by way of pedestrian paths and also feature roof decks and high-end retail spaces. Below, locals can enjoy an underground concourse with everyday amenities, and are protected from the heavy rainfall during the area’s winter months.
Standing at 160 meters, the central, curved pillar extends the duality of functions and serving multiple demographics apropos to the site. The concave portion includes the entryway to the office spaces, while the convex beckons hotel visitors and employees. Inside the offices, employees enjoy interior “pocket” atriums inserted into the sides of the tower to provide meeting places for companies. Large meeting places take the form of roof decks for the hotel.
The shape of the tower was determined by the strong Western sun’s rays. To alleviate this effect, the design team landed on a curved shape to disperse the heat on both sides. The blades seen on both the main pillar and the podium’s façades help to further disperse the heat while also alluding to the local population’s history of basket weaving.