homeabout IBAprojectspublicationstheorycontact us
Guangzhou TV tower


Guangzhou - Kanton Canton - Guangzhou Tower - 广州塔

广州塔 - Hai Xin Tower - Center of the Seas

Guangzhou, or Canton as it was formerly called,lies at center of the Pearl River Delta and is South-China's main industrial center. With over 10 million inhabitants it is a true Metropolis which borders are stretching out to Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzen and Foshan. Over the past decade the city of Guangzhou has been busy building a new city center. This so-called New Central Axis consists of a mix of cultural-, office- and retail-buildings that are well integrated into the existing city-fabric. The Canton tower has taken a central position. The Guangzhou TV & Sightseeing Tower (广州电视观光塔) is built exactly where the Pearl river crosses this New Central Axis. As the main representational building of the city of Guangzhou is now renamed as Hai Xin Ta, which means Center of the Seas. The chosen name of Hai Xin, seems to fit the curvy and gratious tower, emphasizing its central position and importance to the whole of the Pearl River Delta.

The Guangzhou TV Tower Competition

The international competition was held in 2004 for the design of the tower, a 17.9ha park at its base and the master-plan for the surrounding 56.6ha which includes an elevated Plaza, pagoda-park, retail facilities, offices, television centre and hotel. In the competition for the Guangzhou TV & Sightseeing Tower we cooperated with Arup, initially their Amsterdam office, then later their offices in London, Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Most of the other offices participating in the competition were large commercial practices with lots of high-rise experience - Cannon Design, KPF, Richard Rogers and Coop Himmelb(l)au, among others.

While working on the competition, we wanted to offer the city, something simple but complex, a new form that would be in tune with the contemporary times and that would challenge the current building technologies. Where most historical skyscrapers were bearing male characteristics; being angular, simplistic, heavy and based on repetition, we defined our tower to have the identity of a female; smooth, curved, slender, gracious and incorporating diversity of spaces and floor-plan sizes, in short a sexy tower. The tower would be simple and complex at the same time, and would attempt to form a new and exciting coherence between structure and architectural effects.

Guangzhou TV & Sightseeing Tower
first place in invited international competition
Start 2004 - complete november 2010