Goettsch Partners designs super tall building in Tianjin

Glass Magazine
November 9, 2010
COMMERCIAL, FABRICATION : PROJECTS

Goettsch Partners has been commissioned by developer Guangzhou R&F Properties Co. Ltd. to design a new 294,570-square-meter mixed-use tower in the city of Tianjin, China, according to a Nov. 5 release. Occupying a central parcel in the city’s newly planned business district, Tianjin R&F Guangdong Tower will be one of China’s tallest buildings at 439 meters. The complex features 134,900 square meters of Class A office space, a 400-key five-star hotel, 55 condominiums, and 8,550 square meters of retail. The tower is designed to establish a signature visual profile in the city skyline and provide a destination for the people of Tianjin and beyond.

The building’s design responds to the programmatic needs of each function, as well as to the decreasing size of the core. The tower unwraps around its vertical axis as it ascends, similar in nature to a shell or ancient scroll. In this manner, the form relates to the historical context of the site’s location in the Tanggu district, a point of sea trade. The unwinding form also creates unique opportunities to introduce multi-story atria into the program in each vertical zone. These landscaped interior spaces provide ideal circulation for multi-floor tenants, daylighting for deeper lease spans, and inviting social meeting spaces within the building’s upper floors. The landscaped interiors are an instrumental part of the overall environmental sensitivity to the new downtown’s iconic centerpiece, according to the release.

Clearly defining the building’s circulation pattern is critical to achieving a successful mixed-use project. The site’s vehicular circulation is divided by function for efficient access to the tower from the main roads. Pedestrian circulation is further segregated throughout the site, with a landscaped plaza on the building’s north side that creates a welcoming arrival space for the complex. Internally, each of the primary building programs is separated at the ground floor, providing clear and intuitive wayfinding for the occupants. Access from the ground floor to each of the primary building functions is then provided by a network of 55 elevators, which quickly and efficiently deliver guests to their destinations within the tower.

The primary palette of high-performance glass and metal is employed for the exterior design of the building. Floor-to-ceiling glass maximizes views and ambient light, as well landscaped roofs and interior atriums for both their visual and energy benefits. The design promotes material and façade approaches that are integral to the performance of the building systems, not decorative. Above all, the architectural “skin” seeks to positively impact the pedestrian scale through transparency and texture, while minimizing the project’s environmental footprint, according to the release.

The project is currently finishing design and is scheduled for completion in 2015.