Ribbon cut on SOM's Zhengzhou Greenland Plaza
January 24, 2013
The 60-story Zhengzhou Greenland Plaza, the tallest building in Zhengzhou, the capital city of central China's Henan province, officially opened its doors for the first time earlier this month.
The 280-m (920-ft) tall building contains offices at the lower flowers with a 416-room hotel above.
The development is notable for its series of upward-slanting aluminum screens designed to block direct sunlight while allowing diffuse daylight in through the windows behind (with a sufficient gap for window-cleaning, World Architecture News reports).
Collectively these create a tiered effect, all the more evident when lit up at night, something akin to an over-stacked but generously-illuminated wedding cake. It's with some justification that architect Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) describes it as a beacon (though the debate about the justification of the energy consumption of purely decorative lightly will continue.)
At the top of the building is a heliostat which catches sunlight and reflects it into the building's inner atrium, lessening the need for artificial lighting in circulation spaces, which is dimmed automatically with the aid of sensors.