The Spiritual Landmark at Night in Beijing’s CBD: Exterior Lighting of CWTC 3B Tower

Yongqiang Chao
Director of Lighting Design
Beijing Fortune Lighting System Engineering Co., Ltd., Beijing

The exterior lighting scheme of China World Trade Center 3B Tower provides a useful case study for those interested in artistically lighting a skyscraper complex. As a prominent architectural project in Beijing, the tower has a responsibility to the public to project characteristics that reflect the values and dynamism of the city. The main response is the adaptation of a media façade, in which the lamps are concealed perfectly in the façade structure, without damaging the aesthetics of the architecture in the daytime. The landscape lighting of the center maintains an aesthetic connection with façade lighting of the building, creating a spiritual landmark at night for Beijing’s CBD.

With a goal of easy maintenance, the implementation of lighting effects for the building has also been subject to intensive study, so as to greatly reduce power consumption, while still achieving the intended lighting effect of the original design. In addition to becoming a crown jewel amid the Beijing skyline, the project is expected to save 949,000 kWh of energy yearly. To achieve this, the project designers had to take into full account the life cycles of LED node strands and the façade cladding system. Also proposed were new lighting installation concepts and techniques such as “Lego-type” connections and “Reversible Disassembly,” which standardized the lighting construction and installation process and guaranteed a quality result, despite the technical skill gaps between different installers.