Green China: 13 Examples of Innovative Eco Architecture

Sino-Italian Ecological and Energy-Efficient Building, Beijing

(images via: mario cucinella)

Designed for Tsinghua University in Beijing and housing the Sino-Italian education, training and research center for environmental protection and energy conservation, this building is one of China’s greenest. Architect Mario Cucinella worked with the Chinese government to come up with a design that would be as energy-efficient as possible, and achieved this goal thanks to passive and active solar designs including a stacking of floors to create overhangs and setbacks. The building is also equipped with over 1,000 square feet of photovoltaic panels, and offsets carbon dioxide emissions with lots of hanging plants.

Olympics National Aquatics Center AKA Water Cube, Beijing

(images via: wikimedia commons)

Also built for the 2008 Olympics is the Beijing National Aquatics Center, nicknamed the Water Cube even though it’s technically a rectangle. This building features a facade that mimics the look of bubbles in soap lather using 4,000 ETFE (plastic) ‘pillows’, which allow more light and heat penetration than traditional glass, resulting in a 30% reduction in energy cost. The bubbles have integrated LED lights that help it glow at night using very little energy, and the facade is even recyclable.

Canton Tower, Guangzhou

(images via: wikimedia commons)

One of the world’s tallest buildings with the highest and largest outdoor observation deck, the Canton Tower in Guangzhou, China is an LED-equipped tower with outdoor gardens, exhibition spaces, restaurants, conference rooms and TV and radio transmission facilities. It features sixteen transparent ‘crystal’ passenger cars that carry visitors up to the top. It was briefly the tallest tower in the world in 2011, but sky-high construction has been advancing so rapidly lately that it’s now at #4.

China Pavilion by He Jingtang, Shanghai

(images via: wikimedia commons)

The largest and most expensive pavilion ever created for the Shanghai Expo, the China Pavilion by He Jingtang showcased China’s civilization and modern achievements within a building that pays tribute to  traditional dougong-style architecture. The pavilion has since been converted to a museum of Chinese culture and history. It was designed and constructed with sustainability in mind, its features including passive solar, thermal insulation and natural ventilation. The inverted pyramid design and lower courtyard creates a large overhang that shades the lower floors, lowering cooling costs. It also features a high-tech rooftop garden.

Wuhan New Energy Center (Energy Flower)

(images via: soeters van eldonk)

Designed to mimic a calla lily, the new research center for Wuhan University will be one of the most sustainable buildings in the world. Architecture firms Grontmij and Soeters Van Eldonk have given the center a slew of green features that will make it zero carbon and zero energy. The central tower expands into a bowl-shape and is covered in a large array of solar panels facing the sun, while a wind turbine sticks up from the center of it. The bowl at the top collects rainwater, and a solar chimney expels hot air from the building while cool air is sucked in close to the ground.