Gracing Guangzhou skyline

Sian
Monday 05 Dec 2011

Jaeger and Partner embrace urban Guangzhou for their expansive headquarter designs, whilst keeping an eye on efficiency


The Guangfa Securities Headquarter, a 308m tall, class-A, high-rise office building, will serve as the new landmark for the eastern portion of Guangzhou’s new CBD. Its orientation is rotated slightly from the dominating orthogonal grid of the surrounding area, to mark the site as a transformational pivot point of the urban fabric and expresses the building’s obelisk-like, sculptural character. As a counterpoint to the linear order of the CBD, it embraces the expansive park within a suspenseful relationship and enhances its connection to the heart of the city. A 24m tall podium building, complementing the tower, adds human scale to the plaza and balances the overall composition of volumes. The podium building’s widely cantilevering shape acts as a gate, making a visual connection to the park.

The landscape design includes an expansive pool which extends the tower’s shape to appear continuing under the surface, while providing a cool micro climate for the plaza. The tower is divided horizontally into two zones. The upper part accommodates the Headquarter offices of Guangfa Securities, while the lower portion offers tenant space for companies in the financial industry. The tower core employs a cross corridor which offers a wide variety of layouts for circulation and programme. The headquarter offices are served by a sky lobby, which is conveniently accessible through a sophisticated vertical circulation strategy. This concept ensures a high level of floor plan efficiency as it allows for stacking elevator groups on top of each other in the same shafts, thus reducing the size of the core significantly.

The two vertical zones are expressed by repeating the motif of a tapering base at the particular bottom of each portion. In the upper part, the recess appears to be carved out behind a transparent skin, generating the impression of a building inside the building. The façade’s overall appearance gives the impression of a membrane being tautly stretched between the slender corner columns. In an expressive sensual manner, particular parts of the building are pronounced by sculptural forms emerging from the fins. The unitised façade system combines Low-E insulated glazing, a vertical sun shading system, solar active layers covering the spandrels as well as parts of the glazing and facilitates decentralised natural ventilation. The Guangfa Headquarter Tower is currently going through the schematic design approval process and is scheduled to begin construction in spring 2012.

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