Beijing Poly Plaza

Beijing Poly Plaza, the building expresses the strength of the company while suggesting its cultural significance as the guardian of China’s cultural antiquities.


  • Beijing, China


  • China Poly Group

Project Status

  • Completed in 2007


This landmark headquarters building designed by SOM for the China Poly Group is located on the second ring road in Beijing. The 1.1 million square foot building incorporates office, retail, museum and theatre space. In the centre of the main atrium is an additional building suspended from cables, which incorporates more mixed use accommodation around another centrally located atrium.

We developed an innovative and highly cost-effective solution for this building to allow the smoke control in both atriums to be dealt with by a single system. The quantity of smoke exhaust from the atriums has also been reduced considerably when compared to the prescriptive recommendations of PRC codes. The fire engineering analysis also permited the removal of large quantities of fire rated glazing and fire shutters required to maintain compartmentation in accordance with the PRC codes.

Benefits of adopting fire engineering in the building design include:

  • Increased compartment sizes
  • Main atrium totally un-compartmented
  • Fire engineered smoke control to main atrium and “lantern”
  • Toughened as opposed to 90 minute fire resisting glazing to internal atrium facade
  • Requirement for fire shutters/within main atrium space removed
  • Removal of additional applied structural fire protection to certain load bearing elements of the structure
  • Development of phased evacuation strategy to minimize issues associated with false alarms 


This building boasts an intricately detailed façade that expresses both strength and sensitivity when lit. The lighting designers used 4100K lamps for interior lighting, which contrast with the 2700K lamps used at the exterior.

This unique building incorporates 24 stories of office space built around a 90-meter- tall atrium, enclosed by the world’s largest cable-net- supported glass wall. The museum occupancy is contained within an eight-story hanging ‘lantern’ suspended in the building atrium from four (4) parallel strand bridge cables.

The 20-story glazed atrium is visible through the world’s largest cable-supported curtain wall.

Suspended above the lobby and within the glass wall is the building’s theatre; this element alludes to a traditional Chinese red lantern. Luminaires were detailed to highlight the theatre’s cherry wood and perforated metal walls. The volume of the 90-meter (295 feet) tall, 1236 square meter (13,300 square feet) atrium is illuminated by metal halide projection luminaires concealed in vertical coves hidden along the atrium’s edges for both direct and indirect illumination.

Multi-story notches are cut out of the stone façade to create a sense of drama and balance and are further emphasized through the transition of warm color giving way to cooler color temperature. The south and west façades of the building were designed as a double wall, comprised of an outer stone skin and inner glass curtain wall. The outer stone skin provides texture and daylight shading to help protect the building’s conditioned spaces from glare and excessive solar heat gain.

The double-wall construction provided the opportunity to reveal the texture and delicate nature of the exterior stone cladding. Lighting designers from WSP worked closely with the architects on the placement and access of the T5 fluorescent linear luminaries to uplight the vertical and horizontal stone surfaces.

The project received the 2009 Award of Merit from the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD).