Chris Wilkinson, "Guangzhou Finance Centre"

on May 16 at 08:35 AM
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good morning I'm Chris Wilkinson I'm

going to talk about the Guangzhou IFC

and as a founding principle of Wilkinson

air architects I get to get involved in

a lot of projects around the world of

different sizes and uses from

small-scale cultural buildings to

infrastructure projects and large scale

commercial projects and I really believe

that the time is right for high-rise

developments especially in China tall

buildings excuse me I need my glasses

tall buildings have always been an

expression of power and confidence so

it's inevitable the that the expanding

cities of mainland China should look

towards high-rise and super high-rise

developments towers provide extremely

high density which takes a pressure of

land shortages and they graze the

skyline offering a new and exciting

identity is a better however this only

works with innovative and exciting

architecture when a tower rises above

the cityscape it has a responsibility to

make a positive contribution and a

grouping of towers should make a visible

visually acceptable composition the

architecture of super high-rise towers

however is challenging in some ways it's

an expression of the latest technology

but it also has symbolic overtones which

relate to cultural aspirations examples

such as the jin mao tower that we're in

now and the petronas towers in

while Olimpo have used symbolic gestures

to help them relate to the local context

I'm not saying that's wrong but there is

an argument suggesting that high-rise

towers should relate more to an

international context their form would

be technologically based more like a car

or an airplane which have a functional

aesthetic without the need for

embellishment an aerodynamic shape being

more efficient in terms of the size and

weight of structure required to deal

with the loads and horizontal wind

forces this theory is borne out by

history which reveals that whilst in

Chicago and New York towers used new

framing concepts for the structure but

retained highly decorative traditional

heavy masonry cladding the architecture

of later towers changed considerably

with the introduction of modern curtain

walling which offers more lightness

efficiency and a new aesthetic was

created cladding systems are continuing

to evolve and offer new possibilities

for the design of towers the decision on

the amount of complexity or simplicity

is down to architectural preference the

architect puts forward his ideas which

are either accepted or rejected our

design for the Guangzhou International

Finance Center seen here makes a case

for an aesthetic that aims for an

elegant simplicity but expresses a

function structure and components of

construction in a clear and direct way

the project was won in an international


held by the city planners in 2004 for a

mixed-use development of approximately

450,000 square meters to include a tower

of 235 thousand square meters on the zoo

Lane new town site in Guangzhou this was

part of a strategic master plan to

consolidate a new Civic and financial

center around a Grand Central Park

developed for the Asian Games of 2010

this was our competition winning scheme

for twin towers in fact they proceeded

only with one and the second one will

follow and Wilkinson air were appointed

by the yuju Property Group as architects

for the development in a joint venture

with Arab Hong Kong as engineers and the

South China University Design Institute

the project started on site in December

2005 on a site of 31,000 square meters

the development includes

a retail mall conference centre and

service departments in a podium together

with the tower containing offices and

hotel the tower which has a hundred and

three floors reaches a height of 43

sorry 437 point five meters making it

the fourth tallest building in China and

the ninth tallest in the world at that

time of completion now of course it's

way down the list the upper 33 stories

are occupied by the Four Seasons Hotel

which has a full-height central atrium

rising from the reception Lobby on the

70th floor a height of 115 meters which

is tall enough to accommodate the donors

and Paul's Cathedral in love

the lower 69 floors of accommodation a

net hundred and sixty-seven thousand

square meters are of multi let office

space around around a central core in

concept it's much the same as this

building where in which set the trend

the plan which is a curved truck weight

was developed to deal efficiently with

external wind forces as well as

providing a flexible arrangement for

incremental letting in wind tunnel tests

this shape was found to be extremely

efficient in shedding wind load in

section the external walls curved out

from the ground floor to a maximum girth

at approximately one third of the height

then tapered gently to the top where

they merged with the sky the resultant

form which was determined by 3d computer

modeling and rapid prototyping these is

just some of the prototypes we made

looks deceptively simple but is based on

a complex toroidal geometry with each of

the three facade set out on a radius of

five point one kilometers and with the

radius of 71 meters in plan and 10

meters on the corners I love geometry

and I love exploring the potential that

you can with computer 3d modeling it's

um it's a huge opportunity to explore

new space the building's shape is

emphasized by the smooth glass cladding

which is made up from 1.5 meter wide

repetitive floor to floor height glass


which are narrower on the tighter radius

corners a considerable amount of time

was put into achieving standardization

in order to keep the costs down with the

surface area of 80,000 square meters it

would be prohibitively expensive to

incorporate too many special sizes.

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