Few years back, there is a large masterplan surfaced for Guangzhou new Central Business District. Typical with other Chinese cities, Guangzhou will have new bright linear axis of main commercial area, running through the former tallest building in the city, CITIC Plaza (391m) , current tallest building in the city, Guangzhou International Finance Center (or commonly known as Guangzhou West Tower, 440m), till the Guangzhou TV and Sightseeing Tower (618m) across the Pearl River.
The development also includes many other notable office buildings along the axis as well as new Guangzhou Opera House by Zaha Hadid and new Guangdong Museum by Rocco Yim. This large-scale development coincides with the Asian Games to be held at the last quarter of the year 2010 in the city.
At the beginning of the masterplan, it is decided for a twin towers to be built in the middle of the axis, namely Guangzhou West and East Tower. Both have the same design and height. However, only one was able to be built, which is Guangzhou West Tower (Guangzhou International Finance Center), a tall 440m skyscraper which is waiting for opening for Guangzhou 2010 Asian Games, alongside with the early-mentioned Guangzhou TV Tower.
Finally, this year, the idea of having the twin for it is realized, but with different design and height. This new one would be much taller, 530m with 118 floors. Located just at the side of the Guangzhou International Finance Center divided by the main axis, this tower would be pretty much complement to the new skyline of the city despite the difference in design and height.
The building would be named temporary as Chow Tai Fook Centre, designed by famous architecture firm, Kohn Pedersen Fox, expected to be completed by 2016. A very simple, little-bit-out-of-a-box design, but still yet interesting enough for the city. I like the simplicity of the facades, along with the stepping in of the tower as it rises that provide side spaces for landscaping, recreation as well as for mechanical lighting towards the upper portion of the tower. In current design of buildings, it is often to see facade with steel and glass, and it is seldom to see facade with glass, steel, wood and stone! And this is the design, under construction currently!
A short description of the tower taken from http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=174659:
Chow Tai Fook Centre, a 398,000 square-meter mixed-use building is located across from Guangzhou West Tower in Guangzhou’s Tianhe District. It is linked to public rail through underground connections at the basement levels and to nearby buildings through a network of second level pedestrian bridges. The building will be 530 meters tall.
The tower houses 208,720 square meters of office, 74,260 square meters of residential, and 45,924 square meters of hotel program. A tiered podium with spiraling roof terraces houses hotel function program as well as 46,596 square meters of retail.
The design of Chow Tai Fook Centre’s tower is derived from its multiple uses – the building steps to accommodate the changing floorplates of each program type – but also from the nearby Guangzhou West Tower and Guangzhou TV Tower. The chiseled setbacks are sculpted to acknowledge the various heights of nearby towers. The overall effect of the tower, which is located on the southwest corner of the site, is of a crystalline form ascending to the sky. This formal vocabulary extends to the podium, which rises from the base of the tower and steps up towards its center where a large skylight brings natural light into the retail arcades.
At the ground floor, dedicated drop-off areas serve individual programs. At the South and West, the tower is ringed by office drop-offs offering direct access to the office lobby and lifts. The service apartment drop-off is also at the south of the site facing the dedicated green area. North of the office lobby, a dedicated retail drop-off links to the primary retail atrium that runs East-West and divides the retail and hotel/office program areas. At the Southeast, a dedicated hotel drop-off serves both hotel visitors and function guests. It is covered and inboard of the access road offering a discrete and luxurious entrance experience.
The tower’s façade is designed to emphasize its verticality. Long strips of stone extend from the tower base and wrap around the building’s chiseled setbacks. The podium has a similarly tiered chiseled form. Its façade, which is a combination of glass, wood and stone, wraps from the tower and offers ample terraces for restaurants and cafes. A large roof deck above the hotel function area can serve as an outdoor banquet area.
The building will employ a number of energy efficient tools in order to reduce its environmental footprint. These include the use of high-efficiency chillers, façade materials with good thermal properties, and heat recovery from the water cooled chiller condensers.
There are so many highrise projects going on in China, marking the tremendous growth of the nation in economy. Besides than this structure, there is also supertall projects under construction in other cities like Shanghai Center, Pingan International Finance Center, etc.