CTBUH 10 Year Award of Excellence 2020
RIBA Lubetkin Prize 2012
CTBUH Best Tall Building
Guangzhou, formerly Canton, is one of China's largest cities and has a population of over 15 million. It has grown rapidly in recent years and many of the city's districts have been re-planned around dramatic urban set pieces, of which Zhujiang New Town is one. The Guangzhou International Finance Center was envisaged as one of a pair of towers creating a spectacular gateway to the business district on this central boulevard. It differs from many other tall buildings in the purity and elegance of its form, free from distractions and informed by technology rather than symbolism.
Following an international design competition, WilkinsonEyre was selected to design this 440m tower in Guangzhou, one of China's tallest buildings. With 103 storeys, the tower has a mixture of uses including office space and a luxury Four Seasons hotel with a top-floor restaurant and bar. At ground level, the tower connects with a substantial podium complex containing a luxury brand retail mall, conference centre and high-quality serviced apartments.
The tower and podium connect below ground to further retail spaces and a transport hub, with a retail loop encouraging connections to a landscaped central axis. The tower's tapering, crystalline form acts as a landmark on Guangzhou Zhujiang New Town's main axis, linking the commercial district in the north with the Pearl River to the south.
The tower employs a diagrid structure, the world's tallest, visually expressed through the building's transparent envelope. Its triangular plan responds to the need for efficient internal space layouts and excellent environmental performance.
As a global brand, Four Seasons demanded spectacular accommodation of the highest quality, so WilkinsonEyre created a 33-storey hotel atrium, clad in sparkling glass, which is tall enough to house London's St Paul's Cathedral.
The building was named the 2011 Best Tall Building Asia/Australasia by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. In 2012, the tower was awarded the RIBA Lubetkin Prize, for the best building by a British architect outside of the UK.