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Bank of China – Beijing

May 28, 2021

The building of the Bank of China in Beijing embodies a challenge to the Chinese capital landscape. Its futuristic architectural look required the supply of roman travertine, quarried and manufactured by Poggi Bros, to dress the interiors and the exteriors of this modern building.

Building’s History

Completed in 1999, this building is located in one of the most important crossroads within the new financial district of the capital. Moreover, it fits into a more complex project of architectural restyling of the city.

The look of Bank of China Headquarters in Beijing marked a new era as the first ever built in China building that levereged the characteristics of roman travertine. Indeed, it marked the way between China’s cultural roots and a more modern way of conceptualizing architecture.

On one hand we can see the influence of the town on the project. In fact, until then the town skyline favored large and uniform structures. On the other hand, the inspiration of the architect I. M. Pei is remarkable, as he reinterprets the classic urban landscpe by creating an open and welcoming architectural model.

Profuse, always balanced, use of roman travertine

The trait d’union between interiors and exteriors is precisely roman travertine stone. This is a building totaling 170.000 square meters capable of hosting, to date, over 3.000 employees, a 2.000-seat auditorium in addition to the monumental bank room, a reception room, and much more. Almost 60.000 square meters of roman travertine were used for this building contributing to bring more of Rome and Italy abroad.

The choice of roman travertine was an integral part of the overall design concept of the building, intended for the Chinese central bank. Especially on the outside, there was a need to convey a strong perception of solidity and elegance. Inside, the warm tones of roman travertine welcome visitors into a spacious ambience of sinuous shapes.

As stated by the same firm, Pei Architects, “Roman travertine is used extensively inside and out. The sculptural massing and fine detailing of PEI design celebrates the stone’s endless architectural potential”.

An eternal potential that encloses within itself millennia of architectural history, a natural stone capable of breaking the limits set by space and time.

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