Guiyang WTC Landmark Tower:
“Precious Sun,” A Story of Trade Routes and Supertalls

Tue, Feb 2, 2021
Guiyang WTC Landmark Tower

Scott Duncan,


Design Partner, SOM

Scott Duncan is a partner in SOM’s Chicago office, where he leads the design of high-rise and mixed-use projects locally and around the world. Since joining SOM in 1998, he has championed the firm’s vision for integrated design, leading interdisciplinary teams that focus on research on quality of life, planetary health, and improving cities.

His portfolio includes Central Place Sydney, a new civic and technological center in Sydney; 600 Lonsdale, a solar-responsive, biophilic mixed-use high rise in Melbourne; the Shenzhen Rural Commercial Bank Headquarters, a naturally ventilated tower in Bao’an, Shenzhen; and a supertall tower in Nanjing, China, just beginning construction. Duncan also plays a key role in the firm’s commitment to Chicago, where he is currently leading the designs of several large-scale mixed-use projects, including 400 Lake Shore Drive, Lincoln Yards, and 330 North Green Street.

SOM’s Guiyang World Trade Center will anchor a new district of Guiyang, a city which is emblematic of China’s stratospheric growth and pivotal in its network of global trade. Duncan will describe how such districts are shaped and how the supertall under construction at its core is advancing new ideas about structure and environmental performance.

Duncan serves as Chair of the Height and Data Committee of the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat and is a member of the Board of Directors of the SOM Foundation, as well as a leader of The Earth Project, SOM’s multidisciplinary research project on planetary health. Educated at Lehigh University and at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, Scott frequently lectures at design schools and serves as a guest critic.

< View All Lectures

> Read this lecture transcript in several languages

The video begins with Scott Duncan's lecture, followed by Q&A with Museum Director Carol Willis, whose introduction to the webinar is included after the discussion.