AI., New York City
Throughout the past century, tall buildings have been increasingly using glass to cover more and more of their surfaces. This is most often done to achieve a sense of openness for building occupants and the passerby, when in reality these walls are just as impenetrable as any other material. To create a truly open architecture, our buildings must begin to push and pull, to open themselves up both visually and actually.
The Ping An Asset Insurance Tower builds on this concept by achieving a visual and actual openness at its base by lifting the mass of the tower to let a public thoroughfare pass through the site. This gives the public access to the tower footprint, and results in a seamless transition from the surrounding city to the building. The ground level houses the required lobby and retail programs, while the tower mass above breaks from its podium base at a raised level that connects to adjacent blocks via raised bridge elements. The roof of the podium has become part of the public domain and will allow visitors to experience the building from a new perspective.
For building users, the summit of the tower is given over to communal spaces meant for interaction and relaxation. The resulting solarium allows all occupants to access the best views that the building has to offer, along with intensive landscaping elements that seek to increase the richness of the experience high above surface level. This space partially alleviates the monotony of a typical tower mass, with its stack of identical floors throughout its length, and enhances the daily experience of the building for its users.