Intended to serve as a signature building in Nanjing, China, the new headquarters for Chervon International Trading Company – a global leader in the development of power tools – was designed to be transcendent, maintaining a firm foothold in time and place, while embodying strong allusions to the future and other parts of the world through modern techniques and inventive materials.

This intersection of tradition and innovation sets its headquarters apart from the typical Chinese corporate vernacular. Its graphic and bold international design elements are unified through abstractions of ancient Chinese garden traditions and materials, yet all components are tied effortlessly together, appearing to the aerial traveler as if a master calligrapher had drawn its contours in a few sure strokes. As it echoes surrounding architectural form and scale in a way that is ordered, defined, and graphic, the landscape design simultaneously affords visitors an immediate connection to concepts of nature that resonate culturally.

Hoerr Schaudt dove into this venture by researching the history of Chinese scholars’ gardens, exquisite courtyard microcosms of wild terrain whose idealized “mountain peaks,” “lakes,” and “forests” were intended for connoisseurs to savor like paintings. As a result, cobblestone mosaics resurfaced in the paved lobby; and ancient zigzag garden bridges – an inducement to meditative lingering – inspired the staggered multilevel outdoor boardwalks that connect all five corporate departments at Nanjing.

One of the more significant features of the project is its three green roofs; the first of their kind in the city and each one serving a specific programmatic role in the campus. One roof incorporates a running track and a recreational seating area for the building's 800 employees. Another, located above the lobby, offers additional recreational space for those in the executive dining area. The largest one, at over 7,000 square-meters in size and blanketing the building, exalts the company’s sustainable ethos to the surrounding neighborhood with its gentle and elegant sloping surface, visible from street level.

AIA Chicago Special Recognition Award 2010

Businessweek / Architectural Record "Good Design is Good Business" Commercial Award 2010

ASLA Illinois Merit Award 2009