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Four Towers in One Competition / Morphosis

Morphosis just shared with us their proposal for the Four Towers in One Competition.  The competition (which Steven Holl Architects ultimately won) asked participants to design an office tower complex for the new Shenzhen Stock Exchange Headquarters in the Futian commercial business district.  The area was in need of a unified urban plan that would include the Headquarters for the new office towers of Shenzhen Media Group, China Construction Bank, China Insurance Group, and Southern & Bosera Funds.  For Morphosis’ proposal, rather than creating various disconnected vertical skyscrapers, the project aims to create one “cohesive, interwoven district.”  By conceiving the sites as 3-dimensional envelopes rather than flat 2-dimensional footprints, the buildings can be interwoven to “facilitate a network of interlocking forms reminiscent of the venerated Chinese puzzle.”

More images and further project description after the break.

“In response to the interconnectedness of the new global city, Four Towers in One re-conceives the conventional urban grid as a dynamic, multi-dimensional organization, or armature, able to support the complex systems that define contemporary urban life,” explained the architects.

The tower is designed to become rooted in a new urban fabric that fluidly connects other built forms and civic spaces.  Each tower does not have its own identity but rather together, the towers create a scheme that includes the entire Financial District as a new type of icon,  “a district with its own unique character amidst the greater city of Shenzhen.”  The result of this strategy is “a holistic scheme that is greater than the sum of its parts-where integration and collaboration create enormous pragmatic and symbolic potential for all stakeholders.”

All images are protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights under international conventions.  The images may not be used or reproduced without seeking permission from Morphosis Architects or the Photographer, Artist or Institution indicated in the image details provided.


Location: Shenzhen, China

Client: China Construction Bank with China Jianyin Investment Securities

Site Area: 1.8 acres / 0.7 hectares

Size: 829,900 gross sq ft / 77,098 gross sq m

Program: Office Building

Design: 2008

Type: Commercial

Design Director Thom Mayne

Project Principal Kim Groves

Project Designer Ben Toam

Project Team Linda Chung, Amy Kwok, Rachel Smith, Satoru Sugihara

Project Assistant Jesus Banuelos, Andrew Baty-Csorba, Anne Marie Burke, Min-Cheng Chang, Jessica D’Elena, Alex Deutschman, Penny Herscovitch, Marh Johnson, Apoorv Kaushik, Andrea Manning, Hugo Martinez, Taraneh Meshkani, Michelle Nermon, Aleksander Tamm-Seitz, Shanna Yates

Facade Consultant Buro Happold

Mechanical Electrical Plumbing Engineer Buro Happold

Structural Engineer Thornton Tomasettit Group, Inc

Cost Consultant Davis Langdon

Cite:Karen Cilento. "Four Towers in One Competition / Morphosis" 06 Aug 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>