PEI Architects (PEI) conceived of this project as a series of distinct ﬂoating volumes that clearly identiﬁes each part of the program with its own unique building form. These buildings are uniﬁed by a large continuous podium that rings the site and is organized around a series of courtyards to bring light, air, and landscaping throughout the building.
LOCATION: Hainan Province, China
CLIENT: Bank of China Co., Ltd
As with most Chinese courtyard buildings, the process of entering and experiencing the building is modulated by a series of interior and exterior spaces that transition from public entrance yards to more private landscaped ones. At BOC Haikou, PEI placed the grand entry courtyard at the center of the podium, with a large opening to the sky and direct views up to the tower. Following this is the covered, sky-lit courtyard of the Banking Hall, which becomes a more intimate interior-focused space. Finally, as another variation of the courtyard, there is the open landscape platform on top of the podium that is a private garden nestled between the main tower and the small hotel.
Because of Haikou’s comfortable climate, PEI designed this building to be open on many levels, maximizing the surface area so inhabitants of the building can see and feel the outdoors as much as possible. The various building are connected either by pathways at the top of the podium on the landscaped rooftop or by the open bridges that run the entire length of the podium, with views out to the surrounding landscape and to the open courtyards they border. As well, the entire ground plane below the podium is designed to be an open shaded arcade, like the ubiquitous Qilou, or covered walkways that line the streets of Haikou. Even the lower cellar level, which provides access to parking and the retail spaces below grade, is open and accessible through a series of stepped landscaped courtyards that bring ample light and air. The intention is to activate all levels of the project, both above and below grade, with these courtyard elements that provide spaces to shape and landscape in order to always ensure an interesting journey throughout the building.