The Canton Metropolis
Guangzhou formerly known as Canton is a city that has been developing rapidly over the last couple of years. It basically jumped in scale and has grown to a size now counting over 10 million of inhabitants. It is a city in progress and therefore often hazy, smoggy and polluted. Guangzhou lost in the process it's former small-scale character present in the days it was still called Canton; a trade-city typified by bicycles and small trading streets full of street-vendors. It is now redeveloping its city-center, through the planning of a new central axis, with the help of many architects of international reputation. This new CBD will consist of many new office-skyscrapers, including two 350meter tall towers, one of which by Wilkinson Eyre, complemented with a large amount of cultural facilities like a new library, a children's center, a new contemporary art museum, and a new opera house by Zaha Hadid.
With the announcement of a competition for the Guangzhou TV- and Sightseeing tower the city government was looking for a proposal that would have to bind all these new facilities together into a strong presence that could represent the city and give it a strong and fitting identity. It thus had to be more than just a pure functional TV-mast. The city needed an icon that would represent the city for decades to come. And give the city a new and attractive identity that any Guangzhou citizen could and would want to identify with.