Sou Fujimoto Architects has unveiled designs for a landmark tower in Shenzhen, China. Part of an international competition for which no first prize was awarded, the Fujimoto design was awarded the top ranking through earning second prize. The proposed scheme is 268 meters (879 feet) in height and consists of 99 individual towers grouped to appear as one structure looking onto the waterfront. “Being one and many simultaneously, it symbolizes the future of societies in the age of diversity,” says Sou Fujimoto Architects.
For the scheme’s design, the team asked how the “tower” typology could be reimagined in the 21st century, drawing inspiration from the distinctiveness of landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The resulting proposal sees the 99 towers floating with limited points of contact with a main central tower. At the top, the structure spreads broadly, inspired by the natural forms of flowers, clouds, and islands.
The central tower forms a core, with peripherally-located tension cables giving structural balance to the overall scheme. The result offers the impression of a strong horizontal plane on the upper levels, gradually vanishing as it descends. The gradual perceived “disappearance” of the tower lends the scheme a floating, island aura when viewed from the side and above.
On its rooftop platform, the scheme contains a restaurant, walkway, sky lobby, and exhibition space. At the base, a landscape integrated with water sees public seating, a water dance event space, a ticketing lobby, and a public entrance.
News of the scheme comes weeks after Sou Fujimoto Architects unveiled their design for the Shenzhen Reform and Opening-Up Exhibition Hall. Designed in collaboration with Donghua Chen Studio, the exhibition hall is imagined as “gardens within a box” with a village-like indoor space cloaked underneath a multi-layered transparent façade. Earlier this month, the city also saw the completion of the Morphosis-designed Hanking Center, which set a world record as the tallest detached-core building in the world.
Sou Fujimoto Architects have also been joined by a range of high-profile firms recently unveiling proposed developments in Shenzhen. Last month alone, MVRDV’s sustainable, mixed-use Shenzhen Terraces began construction, SANAA unveiled images of their Shenzhen Maritime Museum, and Grimshaw unveiled their mango tree-inspired design for Shenzhen’s international airport and transport hub.
Zaha Hadid Architects have also unveiled two recent projects for the Chinese megacity: their