Waldorf Astoria Beijing Exterior Wall

Bejing, N/A / China

The new exterior wall and 50-meter superframe for the Waldorf Astoria in Beijing, China was designed for the 176-room hotel as a contemporary interpretation of the Forbidden City, China’s nation’s most important historical treasure. The attention to detail was crucial to the design. The vertical frame and the roof eave frame are shaped, detailed, and strongly connected at the corners to echo the feeling of the profile of the traditional Chinese roof soffit silhouette. While the bronze façade was designed as a thoughtful response to traditional Chinese architecture it was also used to represent the luxury brand of Waldorf Astoria. To achieve this goal, bronze was used in large areas of the walls, as well as on window mullions, small cladded sunshades, and perforated screens. The design team worked closely with the client, COFCO, to re-shape the building massing while advancing the program and re-establishing the building structure and its interior layout grid. The end result is a beautifully done exterior wall that is simply divine: it is contextual to the city, environmentally efficient, and true to the Waldorf Astoria brand.

Architect of Record

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

Associate Architect

Beijing Institute of Architectural Design. Co. Ltd


COFCO Limited

General Contractor

China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd


  • LerchBates
  • Yabu Pushelberg
  • Beijing Institute of Architecture Design (BIAD)