Even three years after her death at age 65, the legendary architect Zaha Hadid is still making history. This week, her firm, Zaha Hadid Architects, announced that it has completed a building in Beijing known as the Leeza Soho, which is now officially the world’s tallest atrium.
A 45-story office space might not sound too impressive, but the Leeza Soho is not your typical working environment. The atrium extends the full height of the building, which, thanks to its glazed façade, offers breathtaking panoramic views—particularly from the four sky bridges that connect the Leeza Soho’s two halves. The divided buildings straddle an underground subway tunnel and are rotated, “pas de deux”-style, along with the atrium.
The Leeza Soho, which began construction in April of 2015, was one of 36 active projects in 21 countries that were underway at the time of Hadid’s unexpected death in March of 2016. Far from floundering, the 400-person firm not only forged ahead with all of them, but soon took on even more. And with Patrik Schumacher, who worked with Hadid for nearly three decades, at the helm, each project has managed to maintain Hadid’s signature touch.
Aside from being one of the firm’s final projects with which Hadid herself was involved, the tower stands out for another reason: It’s notably environmentally conscious and energy efficient by design. Features include double-insulated glass walls, which allow for temperature control, and water collection systems, all topped off with an insulating green roof that harvests solar energy.