The Bank of China Head Office occupies a key site in the new financial district of Beijing. It stands at the intersection of two of the most important thoroughfares in China?s capital city: Xidan Street, a north-south shopping spine, and Changanjie, the city?s main east-west axis, which leads directly to Tiananmen Square and the entrance to the Forbidden City. This intersection will be reinforced as a vital transportation hub by a new bus terminal and a new subway line that will connect to existing routes. Directly opposite the Bank is a new public square. The head office takes full advantage of its site with a building envelope that maximizes usable space within while observing regulated height limits. The overall bulk is further reduced by placing extensive facilities below grade. Its quietly elegant Roman travertine cladding acknowledges both the importance of the site and the solidity and stability of the Bank. The Head Office?s ceremonial main entrance is located at the corner of Xidan Street and Changanjie. It is topped by a reception room with a peaked skylight overlooking both the ancient and the modern city. The building consists of two L-shaped components that enclose a central court, 180 square feet by 130 feet high, which includes a Chinese garden. A large lower level auditorium and cafeteria facilities lead off the garden which Bank officials look upon from encircling executive offices on the upper floors.