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Guangzhou TV tower - concept description

The twist

Our approach to the project was two-fold, encompassing the pragmatic requirements of the brief and the organization of all the functions in and around the tower, and aiming to develop a simple concept for combining the tower's various aspects. For the first-round submission we designed a 560-metre-tall twisted, tapering tube. The form, volume and structure are generated by two ellipses, one at foundation level and the other at an imaginary horizontal plane just above 450 metres. The tightening caused by the rotation between the two ellipses forms a 'waist' and a densification of material. This means that the lattice structure, which at the bottom of the tower is porous and spacious, becomes denser at waist level. The waist itself becomes tight, like a twisted rope; transparency is reduced and views to the outside are limited. Further up the tower the lattice opens again, accentuated here by the tapering of the structural column-tubes.