The coastal city of Ningbo has long been a major crossroads for commerce, a point of connection between China and the world. Rising 50 stories above the city’s new financial district, the twisting Bank of China tower marks the nexus of greenways and public plazas that lace Zhejiang Province. As requested by the Ningbo Planning Agency, the tower is designed to be distinct from the city’s many rectangular buildings. The site-specific tower—triangular in plan with rounded corners—slowly rotates around a vertical axis to engage with three distinct contexts: the city, the mountains, and the sea.
The prow of the tower opens onto a greenbelt, drawing the green of the park to plazas alongside the tower and podium and down the smaller streets of the district. A sweeping canopy, clad in a perforated metal diagrid, wraps around the tower, extending over an outdoor plaza and a multi-story podium.
The gently turning tower, with a 1.1-degree shift on each floor, is structurally unique from most conventional twisting towers, because its perimeter columns optimize a downward draping geometry to reduce torque, both creating a seamless form and reducing the amount of materials required in its construction. A circular, central core ensures consistent floor plates and translucent vertical fins, which animate the façade, infuse the open floors with daylight while mitigating solar gain and glare.
At the building’s apex, a lattice crowns an open-air observation area that provides uninterrupted views in all directions—a manifestation of Ningbo’s enduring outward-looking spirit.