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Winner - Platinum
Designer: Mark Sarkisian & SOM Design Team
Design Type: Architectural Element
Company / Organization / School: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
The Rocker at the New Beijing Poly Plaza; Beijing, China Understanding structures as moving entities rather than static objects inspired “the Rocker,” a mechanism developed for the New Beijing Poly Plaza, China Poly Group Corporation’s new headquarters. The Rocker was implemented to facilitate the suspension of an eight-story, lantern-like museum structure within the office building’s atrium and to support the world’s largest cable-net while actively releasing the effects of earthquakes and heavy winds. The team understood that earthquake and wind loads would cause the roof of the building to sway sideways relative to the roof of the museum structure over ten stories below. Without the Rocker, the two diagonal cables would try to resist this movement, causing the forces in them to increase significantly and their sizes to become untenable. The Rocker acts like a “reverse pulley,” allowing the relative movements to take place freely without significantly increasing the forces in the large cables. A result of an integrated architectural and engineering approach, the Rocker makes open space possible atop and below the museum structure, giving visitors and occupants close proximity to natural daylight and views and creating a dramatic open space.