Client: BSD Co, Ltd

Tianjin, China


28 745 m2 / 309 408 ft2

The Sino-Canadian complex in the Tianjin eco-city is an urban laboratory whose objective is to explore new urban solutions and architectural possibilities for the development of sustainable cities in China. This international cooperation will benefit both China and Canada by leveraging expertise and know-how from the two countries.


SVA is participating in this project by designing five buildings, which will host research and development activities and display Canada’s expertise in using wood as a construction material. The project is composed of two large buildings: the R&D center & exhibition hall and the Sino-Canada Tower, and three satellite buildings all connected through public access at the ground level.


The Sino-Canada tower is inspired by the pristine white mountain tops of Canada in winter. The external layer of the tower, made of screen-printed glass, acts as a thermal blanket for the building and mimics the snowpack covering the mountain ranges. The screen-printed patterns create a visual interpretation of the mountain landscape, with its delicate curves reminding of snow drifting down mountain slopes. Once again design is paired with functionality, as these patterns are strategically placed on the façade to selectively let sun rays in, allowing for natural lighting while blocking disruptive radiances, thus creating more comfort for the building’s users and reducing the need for cooling in the summer.