EID Architecture was selected earlier this year as one of the two finalists in an international competition to design a 518 meter-tall tower in Fuzhou, China. Located on a prominent riverfront site in Fuzhou, Shimao North Riverfront Tower was made to be the centerpiece of a new business district within the city. The tower's design explores what supertall building means today. In contrast to many form-driven towers, Shimao Fuzhou aims to integrate architecture and structure to create an iconic and futuristic landmark with remarkable efficiency.
At 518 meters tall with total building area around 437,200 square meters, the Shimao Fuzhou Tower consists of office spaces, the Conrad Hotel and an observation deck. A 7-level podium comprised of retail, cultural venues and hotel amenities will include a museum, ball room and conference center. The roof terrace features a large amphitheater-like space, while the site would be delineated into a sequence of event places, ranging from sunken plaza and sculpture garden to a landscaped gathering place for casual encounter and recreational activities.
A key feature of the tower design is the introduction of two intertwining and twisting volumes, gently tapering towards the top, creating a dynamic and futuristic sculptural form. The tower’s tapered form is inspired by natural surroundings of the site, such as the rolling hills and flowing waterways. It also melds a contemporary aesthetic inspired by the traditional Chinese landscape paintings and artifacts. While the overall silhouette of tower remains unique and restrained within the city’s skyline, the façade becomes more ambitious and dynamic in the middle and bottom portions of its massing.
Collaborating with structural engineers from Arup, an innovative structure solution was achieved through outrigger trusses coupled with columns of mega-structure system. Working with the twisting envelope, this optimized structural system is engineered to remove the diagonal frames typically associated with the mega-structure. It provides maximum structural efficiency and minimizing the interference to the views by the diagonals. Other sustainable strategies incorporated into the design include photo-voltaic panels, water harvesting system, recycled building materials and external shading panels.
The Shimao Fuzhou Tower was made to demonstrate a holistic approach for designing tall buildings, integrating architecture design with structural optimization, along with cultural and environmental sensitivity. The design aspired to act as a catalyst in the transformation of the North Riverfront district into a vibrant urban center.