TPT, Three Partnership Tower
Beijing, China
Project 2004-2005

Master Plan
The TPT (Three PartnershipTower – related to Three Partnership Temple, which is the name of the area in memory of a temple that once existed there) is located directly at the prominent north-west corner of the 3rd ring road in Beijing, PRC. This is an important traffic intersection, where broad highways meet elevated fly-overs. The building will be visible from all directions and many levels.

Instead of a single volume, which follows the curve of the adjacent roads, we propose breaking the line of the facade and creating a polygonal volume that is juxtaposed to the speed and flow of the highways. That way we achieve distinct elevations and views, where every single one shows the building in a different character and with a specific proportion.

The two most outer corners of the TPT are bent slightly inwards to pick up the perspective lines of the adjacent buildings. This move integrates the new volume in the existing context and suggests an embracing gesture, which defines a plaza in front of the building. Overhangs and a subtle undulation of the surface of the plaza strengthen the identity of this newly generated public space.

As the tower grows in height, the shape of the volume changes in the northern portion from slim to bulky and in the southern portion vice versa from bulky to slim. This opens the space behind the building towards the south and closes it towards the north. A spatially engaged and protected zone is created at the back of the building. We propose using this space as a small public park with dense vegetation, protecting it from the noise of the big highways. The ground floor would become the connecting space between the park in the back and the plaza in the front of the TPT.

On the lower floors of the TPT the program is unified and simplified to allow maximum flexibility for large open areas with commercial use. In contrast we propose dividing the upper floors of the building into three volumes to optimize views and orientation for the offices. To provide additional flexibility in the program distribution, the transition from one type to the other is fluent, creating a hybrid zone, where both program functions are possible. This creates the distinct look of the building: Three volumes melt down into one volume, three buildings yet one building. It is the identity of the TPT –"Three Partnership Tower".

Another advantage of the three volumes is the provision of two gaps of 13 and 6 meter each, which significantly maximizes the penetration of sunlight, ventilation and views through the upper portion of the building.

Of the three volumes, each one has a different height, with the south volume being the tallest and the middle one being the lowest. Each picks up a scale and mass of the sur-rounding existing buildings, integrating the TPT into the varied urban context.

The facade of the TPT enhances the sculptural aspect of the building. Each warped surface of the facade is triangulated and slightly undulating. A subtle inward and outward movement of each triangular surface as well their various sizes and spans create a continuous, crystalline relief. This not only solves the geometrical problem of the warped surface, it also reduces significantly the glare and reflection created by a glass curtain wall facade. Instead of one monolithic planar reflective surface, the façade is divided into smaller prismatic units, so that only few of them individually reflect the direct sunlight.

The triangulated surface of the façade is constructed as a double skin glass curtain wall, with the outer layer providing a filter for noise and air pollution as well as a thermal barrier. Operable windows in the inner skin allow the user to control the climate individually and locally. The park in the back of the building acts as the lung, which serves as a fresh air supply for the offices. In some areas, like lobbies and other key public spaces, the gap between the layers of glass will increase to accommodate generous and tall atrium spaces. The skin becomes more transparent and almost fragile, with large glowing volumes of light and air behind. The building's entire surface will read as a facetted surface of a crystal, a monolithic and shiny appearance with sparkles of light and reflection distributed over the entire crust.

The warm red colour of the inner layer of the facade adds spatial depth to the facade and engages the reflecting outer skin, thus breaking the 2-dimensional, hermetic and closed appearance of a typical corporate office tower facade. Depending on the time of day and weather conditions, the colour of the building will steadily change from reflecting the blue of the sky, to an intense glowing red at night.
Herzog & de Meuron, 2004


Herzog & de Meuron Team:
Partners: Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Ascan Mergenthaler
Project Architects: Mark Loughnan (Associate), Edman Choy
Project Team: Thomas Arnhardt, Wenjing Dou, Philip Fung, Volker Helm, Dieter Mangold, Paulo Moreira, Luciano Rotoli, Jad Silvester

Beijing Topeak Group; Beijing Topeak Real Estate Development Co. Ltd.

Climate Engineer: Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH
Glass Curtain Wall Consultant: King Glass Engineering Co. Ltd (KGE)
Local Partner Architect: Huan Yang Century International Architects & Engineers (HYCIA)
Local Structural Engineer: Beijing Institute of Architectural Design & Research (BIAD)
Local MEP Engineer: China Architecture Design & Research Group (CAG)

Master plan: Located on prominent North West corner of 3rd ring road in Beijing, visible from all directions
A sculptured volume rises from a unified base to 3 distinct tower forms. The volume follows the curve of the road, allowing distinct elevations and views, each with different character and proportion.
A plaza connects the building to the busier street side with a calmer engaged and protected zone at the rear of the building, to be used as a small public park.

The building consists of 63’990 square meters above ground, and 29’800 square meters below ground. Lower 3 floors consist of a unified and simplified layout for flexible commercial use. Upper floors separate into 3 volumes to optimize views and orientation layouts for office spaces. The 3 towers each with a different height range from 18(70m) to 10(40m) to 13(51m) levels, picks up the scale and massing of surrounding area. The lower 3 levels below ground incorporate loading and car parking facilities.

The façade enhances the sculptural aspect of the building; each warped surface triangulated and slightly undulated. The façade falls into prismatic units of various size and span creating a continuous crystalline relief. A warm red color integrated into the façade system adds color depth to the reflecting skin, always varied due to the time of day and weather conditions.

In-situ concrete structure. Core (wall thickness ~300-500mm typ.), beam (depth ~700mm typ.), slab (thickness ~160mm typ.) and column (diameter ~800-1200mm typ.)


Building Review. Herzog & de Meuron.
Vol. No. 340, Beijing, Art and Design Publishing House, 03.2007. pp. 8-140.

Nobuyuki Yoshida (Ed.): Architecture and Urbanism. Herzog & de Meuron 2002-2006.
Tokyo, A+U Publishing Co., Ltd., 08.2006.

Jacques Herzog, Hubertus Adam: "Wir können einen wichtigen Beitrag leisten für ein neues China". Jacques Herzog im Gespräch mit Hubertus Adam.
In: Verband freierwerbender Schweizer Architekten FSAI (Ed.). Archithese. Zeitschrift und Schriftenreihe für Architektur. Bauen in China. Vol. No. 6, Sulgen, Niggli Ltd., 11.2004. pp. 38-45.

Edificio TPT, Pekín. Three Partnership Tower, Beijing. Herzog & de Meuron.
In: Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.). Arquitectura Viva Monografías. China Boom. Growth Unlimited. Vol. No. 109/110, Madrid, Arquitectura Viva SL, 2004. pp. 66-67.