• John Portman & Associates

    Yinchuan Greenland Center

    Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China

Project Summary

Located in the Central Business District of Yinchuan, the capital of China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Greenland Center is a 306,000-square-meter mixed-use complex featuring two 301-meter-tall towers linked by a sinuous podium building. The design integrates a practical layout within the urban space, while the parallelogram plan geometry with rounded corners distinguishes the complex from adjacent rectilinear towers.


John Portman & Associates brought the project team together early in the design process to coordinate strategies for efficient construction, materials, water, energy, daylight, and site usage. The integrated BIM model provided a valuable collaboration platform. The architects were able to quickly and easily define the building geometry and translate that vision into a working model. Both internal and external team members were able to share information as it was developed.

Greenland Center brings together an inspired design with structural and energy use considerations in one integrated system. The 3D design data produced in AECOsim Building Designer was easily integrated with the complex geometry generated in GenerativeComponents, allowing the project team to optimize the design of the enclosure and structural system. The rapid design iteration made possible by the Bentley software tools enabled the project team to achieve an optimal design while staying on schedule.

The team used GenerativeComponents to optimize the design of the enclosure and structural system, and then easily integrated the complex geometry with AECOsim Building Designer. This integrated model was used to prepare architectural plans, elevations, sections, details, and schedules. Because sections could be cut early in the design process, problems with clearances and interferences between architecture and structure were detected early, allowing the design to be refined at an early stage.

  • The podium building design is a tribute to the literal meaning of Yinchuan, which is “silver river.”
  • Greenland Center is designed to meet the standards for a two-star rating level in China’s Green Building Design.
  • Animations, renderings, and sun studies were all performed in-house using AECOsim Building Designer, which reduced out-of-pocket project costs.
User Quote:
  • “Yinchuan Greenland Center brings together an integrated design approach to create a recognizable skyline signature for the new Yinchuan Yuehai Bay Central Business District. The sculptural shaping of the twin 301-meter-tower composition derives from a simple geometry inspired by traditional Far East imagery.”

    Gordon Beckman, AIA Principal & Design Director John Portman & Associates