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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Mixed Use Architecture
  4. China
  5. Morphosis
  6. 2016
  7. Morphosis Breaks Ground on Shenzhen Office Tower

Morphosis Breaks Ground on Shenzhen Office Tower

Morphosis Breaks Ground on Shenzhen Office Tower
Morphosis Breaks Ground on Shenzhen Office Tower, © Morphosis Architects
© Morphosis Architects

Construction is underway on a striking new tower by Morphosis Architects in Shenzhen. "A departure from conventional towers," as the practice describes, the "Hanking Center Tower" merges commercial retail with private office space through the folding of its steel structure. Beyond that, tenants are connected via a series communal sky gardens and a massive sun-lit atrium that occupies the building's core. 

Plaza. Image © Luxigon, courtesy of Morphosis Architects Lobby. Image © Luxigon, courtesy of Morphosis Architects Retail. Image © Luxigon, courtesy of Morphosis Architects © Luxigon, courtesy of Morphosis Architects +23

Plan 1. Image © Morphosis Architects
Plan 1. Image © Morphosis Architects

From the architects: Hanking Center Tower rethinks the traditional commercial office building through an innovative approach to circulation, social, and work spaces. Offering flexible tower office space anchored by high-end retail and dining in the podium, the Tower serves Shenzhen’s growing body of global professionals and brings density to the suburb of Nanshan.

Plaza. Image © Luxigon, courtesy of Morphosis Architects
Plaza. Image © Luxigon, courtesy of Morphosis Architects
Lobby. Image © Luxigon, courtesy of Morphosis Architects
Lobby. Image © Luxigon, courtesy of Morphosis Architects

Occupying a place of prominence on Shennan Boulevard, Hanking Tower’s slender profile redefines the local skyline. The Center utilizes folded angles to elegantly merge public components in the podium with private commercial space in the tower – a departure from conventional towers, where differing program is often relegated to separate and disjointed volumes. Surrounding the tower’s podium, a grand plaza and dimensional hardscape create a new neighborhood landmark and enhance public activity at the street level.

Exploded Facade System. Image © Morphosis Architects
Exploded Facade System. Image © Morphosis Architects

The form of the tower is primarily defined by its pioneering steel structural system, which offsets the primary movement and service cores to the exterior of the floorplate. Shifting the cores open the main body of the tower, significantly minimizing the building’s structural footprint while maximizing open space. Shadowing the offset circulation core, two secondary cores in the provide structural reinforcement and house private elevators for VIP users, as well as freight elevators and mechanical services. A series of sky bridges and diagonal mega-braces rigidly link the offset core to the main tower.  Glazed lobbies and skygardens every five floors create a communal hub for use by all tenants.

Retail. Image © Luxigon, courtesy of Morphosis Architects
Retail. Image © Luxigon, courtesy of Morphosis Architects

As the new icon for the high-tech industrial sector, the Hanking Center Tower is designed as an incubator for emerging technologies, providing for growing firms with evolving space requirements. The open floor plate, made possible by the tower’s offset core, dramatically increases space-planning flexibility and offers healthier work environments with enhanced natural light and airflow. Offsetting the core also allows for a public to private gradient of activity on each floorplate, as tenants move from circulation and social spaces around the core to quieter perimeter offices with panoramic views. Freed from the interior of the building, circulation and amenity areas gain natural light and exterior views over the city to transform from conventional to vibrant public space. 

Bridge. Image © Morphosis Architects
Bridge. Image © Morphosis Architects
  • Location

    Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
  • Design Director

    Thom Mayne
  • Project Principal

    Eui-Sung Yi
  • Project Manager

    Hann-Shiuh Chen, Amit Upadhye
  • Project Architect

    Mario Cipresso, Jamie Wu
  • Project Designer

    Natalia Traverso Caruana, Daniel Pruske, Ben Toam
  • Project Team

    Ilaria Campi, Sarah Kott, Daniel Leone, Michael Nesbit, Atsushi Sugiuchi
  • Project Assistants

    Natalie Abbott, Viola Ago, Marco Becucci, Cory Brugger, Paul Cambon, Carmelia Chiang, Sam Clovis, Tom Day, Ryan Docken, Chris Eskew, Bart Gillespie, Greg Gyulai, Parham Hakimi, Kerenza Harris, Yoon Her, One Jae, Jonathan Kaminsky, Hunter Knight, Katie MacDonald, Nicole Meyer, Carolyn Ng, Sille Pihlak, Jon Rieke, Ari Sogin, Stan Su, Derrick Whitmire, Pablo Zuzunegui

  • Visualization

    Jasmine Park, Nathan Skrepcinski, Sam Tannenbaum
  • Associate Architect

    Zhubo Design
  • Client

    Hanking Group
  • Structural

    Halvorson + Partners, Chicago
  • Structural Concepts

    John A. Martin & Associates, Inc.
  • MEP / Fire Protection

    Parsons Brinckerhoff
  • MEP & Façade Concepts

  • Façade

    SuP Ingenieure GmbH, Darmstadt, Germany
  • Vertical Transportation

    Parsons Brinckerhoff
  • General Tower Consultant

    w.erk studios
  • Site Area

    2.7 acres (1.1 hectares)
  • Area

    110169.0 sqm
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

Cite: Karissa Rosenfield. "Morphosis Breaks Ground on Shenzhen Office Tower" 14 Apr 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


Emil Atik · July 02, 2015

Deconstructivism + expressionism + conventionalism = The Ubber Building Design.

....but we're only the missiing futurism and hypermodernism to join the unique combination, but we will see that soon in other up-coming proposed buildings worldwide, escpecially in Chinese cities like, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Wuhan, Suzhou, Chongquing and so on, and perhaps other asian cities as well, hopefully:-)

The reel on architecture · April 17, 2015

is China the experimental country? Did this firm see what Facebook headquarters look like, they should take a page from that book, though I do have issue with it a bit. After doing construction tech in college, I began a love /hate relationship with towers. If you are disabled or have a bad back from sitting all day, you will be a lost course when there is an emergency. Sad but there is no real/ guarantee to live, emergency strategy for a building like this or anything over 10 stories.

Hunter · April 15, 2015

Sweet project but the main atrium looks like a larger Cooper Union frame.

Ku · April 15, 2015

Garbage...glad it's in China.

Isaac Silverstein · April 17, 2015 10:27 AM

You'II be amazed when you travel Shenzhen, different from other cities in China.

Archer David · April 16, 2015 05:19 AM

why aren't you in china then?

t.raum · April 15, 2015

Nanshan is anything but a suburb of Shenzhen

Ben · April 15, 2015


Jake Groth · April 15, 2015

What is this... Vals?

Jake Groth · April 15, 2015 02:51 AM

Joking aside, what is with the current trend is skyscrapper plan design to push all the elevators and such to one side and connect to the office space via 'bridges' ?

ag · April 15, 2015

reminds me of blade runner...

tim · April 15, 2015

nice mixture of morphosis-look massing and exploded core

Adam · April 14, 2015

It's so odd...I still see a conventional tower. Oh, there's an atrium and a 'sky garden'? Yep, a conventional tower...

And for being 'unconventional' it's funny how similar this project and these renderings are to the Vals proposal which is supposed to be 'totally contextual'

Archer David · April 16, 2015 05:17 AM

I think it looks great

Croco Dile · April 15, 2015 05:09 AM

It may be different because the surfaces are not vertical ?!
The interiors look good.
It could be a good design overall. They may show it to us when it's built.....


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