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Designed while at SOM

At the heart of Suzhou's new central business district in China stands a 460-meter mixed-use complex. Comprising three interconnected towers, the development seamlessly blends apartments, office spaces, and retail, creating a vibrant mixed-use community. These towers aim to redefine Suzhou's skyline, embodying a modern expression of the city's timeless values and commitment to a high quality of life.

Imbued with a sense of community, the tower is intricately designed, featuring small floor plates and a select number of residences per floor. Connecting the three vertical volumes are sky bridges at floors 17, 49, and 77, serving as dynamic social hubs. These bridges double as multifunctional spaces, housing wellness and family-focused amenities such as play and study areas, fitness facilities, and outdoor terraces. Boasting sweeping views of the lakes and historic areas, these bridges create an inspiring backdrop for resident interaction.

Final Competition Animation

Image of the future Suzhou juxtaposed against the past

In our endeavor to design the tower, we aimed to capture the deep cultural roots of Suzhou, an ancient city renowned for its canals, bridges, pagodas, and classical gardens. Preserving numerous examples of Chinese classical architecture, Suzhou's essence is steeped in its rich history. The design draws inspiration from Suzhou's intimate connection with water, owing to its strategic location in the Yangtze River delta, which has made it a historical hub for trade and commerce.

Views from across the lake

The tower's form embodies the convergence of three boats, symbolizing the gathering of people, talent, and industry. The rippling facade spandrels mirror the surface of Jinji Lake nearby or the unfurling of ancient Chinese scrolls, paying homage to Suzhou's heritage as a center for arts and scholarship.


Facade design is inspired by rippling water

Sky Lobby 1 - Meditation Garden

Sky Lobby 2 - Central Lobby

Sky Lobby 3 - Hanging Library

The building's geometric design prioritizes optimal daylight, panoramic views, and natural ventilation, effectively harnessing wind to mitigate climatic forces through its open core. This structural approach not only reduces material usage but also minimizes the overall carbon impact of construction. Sustainable features include integrated photovoltaic panels on the podium roof and a high-performance glass exterior wall that significantly lowers energy consumption.

Interior View - Typical corner unit living room

The tower's transparent crown adds a unique touch, offering additional gathering spaces beneath a petal-shaped roof. Taking cues from Suzhou's traditional gardens, the transparent glass floor's design draws inspiration from the city's iconic moon gates. 

Glass Floor at Tower Crown

Event Space at Tower Crown

The Suzhou Tower was one of my primary projects at SOM. It was a competition in 2020, where I spent nearly 8-months as the project lead, touching all parts of the project, and resulting in a winning submission. For 2.5 years after that, I continued to play a key role in the project for SD and DD phases.


This tower is nearly half a kilometer tall and includes many complex features, which has been a joy to take from idea to construction detail. In my final year working on this project, my primary role was to develop tower facade as well as key amenity spaces, like the crown and sky bridges (including a ‘hanging library’ and glassbottom pool). A key part of my responsibilities has been to mentor other junior designers and manage their production to help accomplish project goals.

Renders and Drawings Courtesy of SOM

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