China, Hangzhou 

Zancheng Center


Design Meinhard von Gerkan and Nikolaus Goetze with Volkmar Sievers
Project management Isabel Vollmer
Competition design team Isabel Vollmer, Enrico Kremp, Anezka Arkenbergova, Stefan Wentrup
Project management China Cai Lei
Project management – implementation Julian Lahme
Team implementation Gabi Nunnemann, Sunju Kim, Wiebke Meyenburg, Frederik Heisel
Construction management
Florian Wiedey, Fang Min
Client Jinhui, Real Estate Development Co, Ltd.
GFA 84,000 m²



Hans-Georg Esch

The office building Zancheng Center, which is located in direct proximity to the River Qiantang in the Chinese provincial capital of Hangzhou, makes maximum use of the available site; the U-shaped building extends to the construction boundaries and, to the north, opens up with an inner courtyard to the neighboring buildings.

The two-story entrance hall is reached via the drive and main entrance to the north, and provides a view to the two landscaped inner courtyards at the center of the building. These courtyards are used to allow daylight to reach not only the foyer and lobby, but – via sunken courtyards – also spaces on the basement floor, creating attractive areas for a fitness club and meeting rooms. On the first floor, along the road facades and hence accessible directly from the road, space has been provided for shops and restaurants.
The 15 office floors are accessed via two circulation cores with lifts and stairwells. The functional areas of the floors are reached via a U-shaped corridor. The offices have been arranged on both sides of a corridor, measuring between 86 and 230 square meters, and can be flexibly adapted to user requirements.

The facade is subdivided into two distinct areas. Above the two-story glass facade in front of the lobby and retail areas, a structure of squares dominates the external appearance of the building – it covers the entire facade like an oversized pattern, with each square being three stories high. The stories can still be recognized through the pattern, thus maintaining a sense of scale. Within the square fields, the vertical windows that are three stories high are emphasized with projecting frame profiles which, at night, are illuminated with LEDs. External aluminum louvres underscore the texturing of the facade and serve as solar screening and fall protection.