Upon its completion in 1990, I. M. Pei’s Bank of China Tower was the tallest building in Asia, and Architectural Record called it “the most innovative skyscraper since Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building.” The eloquent realization of Pei’s singular design was made possible by several technical innovations, including a patented anchoring system that allowed the structure to move without transferring excessive stresses—a crucial feature in typhoon-prone Hong Kong. The building is clad in 530,000 square feet of custom-designed, aluminum-and-glass unitized curtain wall.
The wall design incorporates a unique pressure equalization system to accommodate typhoon wind loads. Glass was custom made for the project to I.M. Pei’s particular aesthetic requirements. Aluminum panels were made with clad-sheet to ensure color uniformity of the clear anodized finish.
While he worked at I.M. Pei & Partners, Robert Heintges was Senior Team Designer and Senior Associate in charge of the curtain wall. Subsequently, after the formation of Heintges & Associates in 1989, the firm was retained as the curtain wall consultant through the completion of the tower’s construction.