Project DescriptionThis iconic tower, rising on the gateway site of a new planned business development in the Nanshan District of Shenzhen, China, will house the South China offices of one of the world’s leading metal and mining companies.
The tower has been carefully sited to be respectful of its neighbors and allow for extensively landscaped public space at ground level. The tower is distinguished from its strictly or-thogonal neighbors by its gently sloping north and south facades, which extend above the main roof to form expressive apexes at the northeast and southeast corners. Resembling wind-filled sails, these arcing facades are balanced by a contrasting parallelogram geometry that creates mast-like silhouettes on the other two sides.
The material qualities of the building expand on this theme. The curtain wall system enclosing the sail forms includes floor-to-ceiling vision glass and matching shadow-box glazing at the spandrels, creating a light and open effect. The mast forms combine vision glass and stone spandrels, with larger expanses of stone at the base that suggest ballast for the sails and bring a sense of solidity and dignity to the en-try levels of the tower.
The structural design adds its own expression to the sail imagery through exterior lateral bracing: two X-braced groupings of 12 floors each are separated by three horizontal single-story braced truss floors, recalling a framework of nautical ties and battens.
Four-story-high porches on the tower’s north and south sides serve as signature gateways, leading to a generous public open space with a terraced landscape that incorporates water features and public art, integrating active uses on the ground floor with a retail pavilion on the floor below. The extensive-ly developed landscape is part of an overall sustainable strategy that includes a high-efficiency exterior wall, operable windows, and internal shading devices. The building is expected to achieve LEED Gold.