This landmark tower comprises a cluster of 99 floating islands to symbolize the future of societies in an age of diversity
Shenzhen, China, held an invitation-only competition to design a landmark tower for the Qianhaiwan district. The area has recently seen substantial urban and architectural developments, so it was eager for a New City Center Landmark structure to attract more people to the region.
The winning design was a monumental floating-like tower in the bay by Sou Fujimoto Architects, consisting of 99 individual tower-like elements united by the upper part (the deck). It’s a tower made up of a collection of towers to symbolize the future of societies in an age of diversity.
The proposed tower appears like a nearly freestanding water fountain. The sculptural design was Sou Fujimoto Architects’ reimagination of the role of the ‘tower’ in the 21st Century. To find inspiration, the team asked the questions:
What does a new ‘tower’ mean in the 21st Century? How can a tower evolve while continuing to attract attention, as the Eiffel Tower does? And [one] which would face towards the bay?
Armed with their answers and the guidelines set by the district’s urban fabric, the firm designed a pendant-like structure made up of a cluster of islands, like an aerial city of the future. The tower appears as a single entity from afar, but the closer you get to it, you see it split up into a collection of columnar pillars.
The illusion of being simultaneously one solid structure and an orchestra of different parts is the materialization of the design concept: what it means to inhabit a future during this burgeoning age of diversity. As such, the landmark symbolizes ‘the future of society in an age of diversity.’
Sou Fujimoto Arhcitects’s tower rises 268 meters (880 feet) toward the sky and consists of 99 pillar-like support beams that carry the tower’s upper horizontal structure. The top of the pillars holds the “islands.” The upper horizontal plane features the islands and exhibition space, restaurant, café, and viewing platform. The upper deck is meant to be a social hub for residents and a must-visit destination for tourists.
The tower is structurally supported by a centralized core, balanced by peripherally located tension cables. The entire structure is made of steel, concrete, carbon fiber, and Kevlar Rope.
Unfortunately, Sou Fujimoto Architects recently announced that the proposal would not be realized, albeit the project’s immense popularity.