RMJM Designs Fish-Inspired Tower Clad with Aluminum Scales

  • 24 Aug 2014
  • by
  • Cultural
View from Below. Image Courtesy of

RMJM‘s Shenzhen studio has just been awarded the contract to build a 93 metre public inspired by the importance of water in the historic Doumen District, Guangdong Province, China. Perched at the confluence of two rivers, the Doumen Observation Tower will rise from the waterfront of the Zhuhai, and is inspired by the form of a fish soaring above the water, clad in aluminum scales to protect from the hot Chinese sun. The tower will occupy a minimal footprint and will be surrounded by a large public plaza.

Check out the complete specs of Doumen Observation Tower after the break. 

Aerial View. Image Courtesy of RMJM

The design features an exterior steel skeleton beneath a curtain of aluminum sails, which shade the structure from pollution while providing filtration for excessive sunlight. The skeleton of the exterior aluminum curtain will be anchored in the plaza. During daylight hours, the sails will echo the appearance of a gleaming fish catching sunlight before returning underwater.

View from Above. Image Courtesy of RMJM

The building will consist of three major components: retail space along the ground level podium, visitor experience space throughout the middle, and observation decks on the top floor. Indoor and outdoor observation decks complete the design, allowing for users to choose their viewpoint of Doumen District. Major consideration was given to public space, resulting in a small footprint for the tower in order to maximize the use of the public plaza. Restaurants, cafes, and shops will be accessible from the plaza at ground level, providing an inviting atmosphere for the community.

Nighttime Rendering . Image Courtesy of RMJM

Structurally, Doumen Observation Tower will consist of twelve two-dimensional curves with. 1,400 custom perforated aluminum panels will create the signature aesthetic of the tower.

Sunset Aerial View. Image Courtesy of RMJM

Architects: RMJM
Architect In Charge: Yang Zhenyuan
Design Director: Yang Hua
Design Team: Stefan Mandl, Wu Jiayang, Michael Rebhandl, Thomas Sutner
Area: 4563.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of RMJM

Cite: MacLeod, Finn. "RMJM Designs Fish-Inspired Tower Clad with Aluminum Scales" 24 Aug 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 Oct 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=540420>