At the heart of Hong Kong’s central business district, the 36-story Murray Road project designed by Zaha Hadid Architects has broken ground — and its energy-efficient design has already earned the building LEED Platinum and WELL Platinum pre-certification along with the highest 3-Star rating of China’s Green Building Rating Program. Inspired by the layered structure of a soon-to-blossom Bauhinia bud — the flower from the Bauhinia x blakeana orchid tree featured on Hong Kong’s flag — the glass skyscraper features a curved glass facade that will stand out from its more traditional boxy neighbors. The double-curved insulated glazing that wraps the building can withstand the region’s powerful summer typhoons while reducing the cooling load of the building.

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Located at the core of the city’s financial district at the east-west and north-south junction of Hong Kong’s network of elevated pedestrian walkways, the 2 Murray Road office tower is strategically located for direct access to adjacent public gardens and parks. Supported by a high-tensile steel structure, the curved glass facade enhances indoor/outdoor connectivity between the interiors and lush cityscape. The building base has also been elevated above the ground to create new sheltered courtyards and gardens.

Inside, the light-filled Grade A office spaces are column-free and feature five-meter floor-to-floor heights for maximum flexibility. Occupants will enjoy a contactless transition from the street to their workstation with a smart management system that uses a mobile phone, contactless smart card or biometric recognition for everything from passing security to calling the elevators. Occupant health also benefits from the building’s air quality monitoring system that automatically adjusts indoor air temperature, humidity and fresh air volume to meet demand.

Related: Henning Larsen breaks ground on BEAM Platinum-targeted Shaw Auditorium in Hong Kong

The smart air quality monitoring system is one of several smart systems designed to reduce electricity demand. Smart chiller plant optimization, high-efficiency HVAC equipment and daylight sensors, for instance, will achieve a 26% reduction in energy demand. Still under construction, 2 Murray Road will also use recycled materials to further minimize its carbon footprint.

+ Zaha Hadid Architects

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