Gate to the East

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Height: Occupied
261.1 m / 856 ft
Height: To Tip
301.8 m / 990 ft
Height: Architectural
301.8 m / 990 ft
Gate to the East Outline
Floors Above Ground
Floors Below Ground
Tower GFA
450,000 m² / 4,843,760 ft²


Official Name Gate to the East
Other Names The Pants Building, Gate of the Orient, Oriental Arc
Structure Type Building
Status Completed
Country China
City Suzhou
Street Address & Map 199 Xinggang Street
Postal Code 215021
Building Function residential / hotel / office
Structural Material composite
  • Core: Reinforced Concrete
  • Columns: Concrete Filled Steel
  • Floor Spanning: Steel
Construction Start 2004
Completion 2015
Rankings Click arrows to view the next taller/shorter buildings
Global Ranking #179 Tallest in the World
Regional Ranking #106 Tallest in Asia
National Ranking #90 Tallest in China
City Ranking #2 Tallest in Suzhou

Companies Involved

Owner/Developer Suzhou Chinaing Real Estate Co., Ltd.
Design RMJM
Architect of Record East China Architectural Design & Research Institute
Structural Engineer
Engineer of Record East China Architectural Design & Research Institute
MEP Engineer
Engineer of Record East China Architectural Design & Research Institute
Main Contractor Shanghai Construction Group
Other Consultant
• Marketing Savills; Colliers International; CBRE

About Gate to the East

Topping out at just above 300 meters by way of its twin spires, Gate to the East was the first supertall to be constructed in the city of Suzhou. The building is located on the eastern side of the city and adjacent to Lake Jinji, with the design serving as a focal point for a new central business district as well as a gateway looking towards the historic city center. The archway draws from cultural influences of the Gardens of Suzhou, dating to the 11th-19th century and listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The archway also functionally splits the building with residential use on one side and commercial offices, hotel and a museum on the other. The two towers are then structurally joined at the top, the uppermost floor of which contains an indoor atrium landscaped with a Suzhou style garden. Both towers were framed with composite structures featuring a reinforced concrete core and a perimeter of large steel columns. Directly above the 7 story podium base, the columns flanking the void begin tapering inward towards the center. A large belt truss wraps the perimeter of the entire structure where the two legs join near the top.

The unusual shape of the tower led to a number of criticisms likening the structure’s form to a “pair of trousers” as well as nicknames such as “Pants to the East” applied to it even before the tower was topped out. The building as such had become well known to the rest of the world upon completion for this very reason and has in a way fulfilled an unintended role of serving as a gateway to Suzhou. Locally, the building has indeed become a focal point for the city as well as the business district that has since grown up around it, including the construction of the Suzhou Zhongnan Center. A major rail station below the archway ensures Gate to the East will continue to be a gateway for the emerging new economic heart of the city.

CTBUH Initiatives

Suzhou Regional Tour Report
20-21 Sep 2014 – Tour Report

Research Papers

Skybridges of Significance
Aug 2020 – CTBUH Journal 2020 Issue III

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