I. M. Pei

Works of I. M. Pei
on Wednesday 18 January 2006
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Location: Singapore
Architect: I. M. Pei & Partners
Structural: Ove Arup & Partners Engineer
Completion: 1980
Height: ca 200 m 660 ft)
Volume ca 300 000 m3
Use: Services, office

overview chines bank I M Pei
Urban context
Over the past ten years, the shortage of land has induced Singapore to increasingly develop upwards on the basis of an overall-planning strategy. In the city centre, small colonial-style office buildings constructed under Chinese influence have given way to sky-scrapers. When the Overseas Chinese Bank was completed in 1980, its fifty-one storeys made it the highest building in Singapore. It was erected in the historical Chinese trading centre where it replaced the old company headquarters. The building made no attempt to adapt to its surroundings, demonstrating instead that it was part of a future skyscraper skyline in the megapolis of Singapore.
site plan chines bank I M Pei
image:site plan

section chines bank I M Pei
image: Section

In order to create a clear-span bank hall, a system was chosen that would transfer the load of the fourteen office floors above the hall via a transfer storey on the fourth floor, and then into the ground through four solid concrete columns. On the nineteenth and thirty-fifth floors, transfer storeys carry the loads into the semicircular core at the side. This load-bearing system permitted the construction of a clear-span conference floor and a penthouse on the roof

Circulation / Installations
To attain maximum flexibility in the arrangement of the office floors, all of the service units, comprising nine lifts each together with wet rooms, are situated in the two semicircular concrete cores at the side. The supply shafts for the equipment rooms, which are located on the roof and in the transfer storeys, are also located in the core areas.
Plans chines bank I M Pei

"As solid as a rock" was the bank's motto. The load-bearing system manifests itself in the external appearance of the building. Both the concrete cores at the sides and the transfer storeys are clad in white Sardinian granite slabs, creating a smooth surface. This provides a striking contrast to the three cantilevered office-floor units. To avoid excessive heating in Singapore's tropical climate, the windows were set back slightly from the facade, giving this part of the skin a rough surface texture

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