In the heart of the new central business district in Suzhou–one of the most popular, livable cities in China–SOM is designing a 460-meter-tall landmark tower, invested by China Overseas Land and Investment Ltd. Integrating apartments, office space and retail into one mixed-use community in three interwoven towers, the tower will be the new landmark in Suzhou, serving as a modern expression of the city’s enduring values, and an homage to its ecological landscape.
▼设计根植于苏州千年古城的传统文化，也体现了苏州“三水绕城”的独有特质，Design serving as a modern expression of the city’s enduring values, and an homage to its unique landscape © SOM
Known for its canals, bridges, pagodas, and classical gardens, Suzhou is widely regarded as the bedrock of Chinese classical architecture. In designing the tower, SOM’s team sought to reflect the ancient city’s rich cultural roots and its unique geographic location, at the confluence of the Taihu, Yancheng, and Jinji Dushu Lakes.
▼苏州中海超塔，China Overseas Suzhou Supertall © SOM
设计灵感来源于苏州的水文化，水路并行的理念贯穿了苏州几千年的文化传统和生活方式。 历史上的苏州是中国经济、贸易和文化中心，而今日的苏州是长三角经济区的重镇。 “三舟交汇”的塔楼造型寓意着人才、财富和产业的聚集。
The design takes inspiration from Suzhou’s relationship to water. As a major economic and cultural center, Suzhou has been a focal point of trade and commerce throughout history. – A prosperous city in the Yangtze River delta region, Suzhou is crossed by waterways, canals and lakes. Shaped in the form of three boats converging, the design symbolizes the gathering of people, talent, and industry.
▼SOM 用现代设计手法诠释千年古城的历史文脉，致敬城市独特的生态景观风貌，Design serves as modern expression of the city’s enduring values, and an homage to its landscape © SOM
“For centuries, Suzhou has been known as the ideal livable city, recognized with the saying ‘In heaven there is paradise, on earth, there is Suzhou.’ We’ve infused our design with the very best of Suzhou’s civic life and culture, creating a contemporary vision of the city’s close relationship with water, intimate neighborhoods, and immersion of culture and beauty,” stated SOM Design Partner Leo Chow.
▼苏州中海超塔 “三舟交汇”的塔楼造型寓意着人才、财富和产业的聚集，Shaped in the form of three boats converging, the design symbolizes the gathering of people, talent, and industry © SOM
At street level, a series of public plazas and a lush, landscaped garden complete with water features create a pedestrian-friendly gathering space to frame the building. Retail destinations anchor the gardens, with a direct connection to the nearby Suzhou Center, a new shopping destination in the city. A glass atrium brings daylight into underground retail spaces, with views looking skyward to the tower. The building prioritizes pedestrian connections to Suzhou metro stations and fitting into an existing urban fabric of the public network.
▼塔楼三个塔瓣体量由三座空中大堂以连桥形式相连，可由穿梭电梯直达，The building’s three petals are linked by three sky bridges and lobbies accessible by glass enclosed elevators © SOM
Inside the building’s residences, small floor plates–hosting only a few units per floor–create an intimate sense of community. The tower’s geometry maximizes daylight, views, and thermal comfort for residents, while allowing for wind to pass through its core and between the ‘petals,’ significantly reducing material use in its structure.
▼设计理念，Concept © SOM
The building’s three petals are linked by three sky bridges and lobbies accessible by glass enclosed elevators at floors 17, 49, and 77. These amenity-rich, open concept spaces will serve as multifunctional social hubs, gathering spaces, and wellness areas for residents. The three sky lobbies accommodate family-oriented, wellness and awe-inspiring gathering spaces, providing moments of unique views towards the surrounding lakes and historic areas of the city.
▼空中大堂空间意向，Sky lobbies © SOM
The tower culminates in a transparent, glowing crown, which hosts diverse high-end public gathering functions beneath the three distinct petal-shaped roofs. At the center, visitors encounter a dramatic spiral stair connecting two levels with layered views through the tower. The apertures of the sky lobbies are inspired by the moon gates of traditional Suzhou gardens.
The undulating spandrels along the facade evoke a cascade of water or the unfurling of ancient Chinese scrolls, a nod to the city’s millennia as an artistic and scholarly center. Rippling geometry changes with the time of the day, creating a vibrancy that echoes the nearby Jinji Lake.
▼塔冠，Tower Crown © SOM
The building will be constructed with lower embodied carbon design intent, while meeting stringent indoor air quality requirements in line with LEED Gold, China Green Building 3 Star certification, WELL, and CABEE (ultra-low energy building). Sustainable design elements include integrated photovoltaic panels across the retail podium roof trellis, and a high-performance glass exterior wall, which significantly reduces the building’s energy consumption.
▼塔冠内部公共空间意向，Tower Crown Interiors © SOM
It will be completed in 2027. The tower is SOM’s first apartment supertall tower in China.
Project name *: China Overseas Suzhou Supertall Project 中海苏州超塔
Country: China 中国
Address: Suzhou Industrial District South of Suxiu Road, East of Xing Yang Road.
Building Function*: Mixed Use 综合体（办公，公寓）
Total Gross Floor Area (Above Grade) 总面积（地上）: 314,010sm
STATUS: to be completed in 2027预计2027年完工
Client/Developer: CHINA OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT(SUZHOU) CO.,LTD. 中海发展（苏州）有限公司