CreatAR

Hengqin International Financial Center

Zhuhai, China

Aerial view ©2020 CreatAR Images
Aerial view ©2020 CreatAR Images

Aedas has recently completed the iconic 339-metres Hengqin International Financial Centre tower, which stands at the estuary of the Pearl River and overlooking Macau just across the waters. The spirally rising volume invokes the Chinese myth of flood dragons emerging from the sea – a perfect metaphor for the strength and power of the region.

the tower spirally rising as emerging dragons ©2020 CreatAR Images
the tower spirally rising as emerging dragons ©2020 CreatAR Images
overlooking the waters of Pearl River Estuary ©2020 CreatAR Images
overlooking the waters of Pearl River Estuary ©2020 CreatAR Images

The project is located in Zhuhai’s Hengqin Island, a future financial district connecting Hong Kong, Macao and other major cities in the Greater Bay Area. The city, surrounded by the sea and mountainous terrain and positioned at the heart of this world-class city cluster, is thriving to become a driving force of growth highlighted in China’s latest national development strategies.

standing along the water boundary between Zhuhai and Macau ©2020 Terrence Zhang
standing along the water boundary between Zhuhai and Macau ©2020 Terrence Zhang

“The site possesses powerful momentum for future developments. So we imagined this unique building to express the quality of speed, growth and vitality. It resembles prosperity of the new district and rise of the country,” explains Dr Andy Wen, Aedas Global Design Principal. The development comprises mixed programs including Grade-A office, conference and exhibition amenities, commercial apartments and retail space. Conventional and retail spaces are placed in the podium to allow for easy access. Offices are up to the middle of the tower while the apartments are set on top, enjoying the tranquil and scenic sea views.

program layout ©2020 Aedas
program layout ©2020 Aedas
symbolize the new born of the financial new district ©2020 CreatAR Images
symbolize the new born of the financial new district ©2020 CreatAR Images
symbolize the new born of the financial new district ©2020 Terrence Zhang
symbolize the new born of the financial new district ©2020 Terrence Zhang

Inspired by “The Nine Dragons”, a famous stroll of Chinese painting from the Song Dynasty, the design embodies the convergence of energy in the architectural form. The traditional totem of the dragon emerging from the sea symbolises new life breaking through the barriers and ceaselessly flourishing into an imposing power. It’s transformed into the elegant curves and powerful twists of the tower, complementing the undulating surface of the waters around it. With four vertical blocks shooting up to the sky and merging into the building, the tower itself also becomes a symbol of talents and resources congregating at Hengqin to create a new metropolis in the Greater Bay Area.

The design is inspired by "The Nine Dragons", a famous stroll of Chinese painting from the Song Dynasty ©2020 Aedas
The design is inspired by “The Nine Dragons”, a famous stroll of Chinese painting from the Song Dynasty ©2020 Aedas
sketches ©2020 Aedas
sketches ©2020 Aedas
Functional zoning ©2020 Aedas
Functional zoning ©2020 Aedas
Simple yet powerful building silhouette ©2020 Terrence Zhang
Simple yet powerful building silhouette ©2020 Terrence Zhang
 elegant curves around the podium ©2020 Terrence Zhang
elegant curves around the podium ©2020 Terrence Zhang

The subtropical climate of Zhuhai imposes higher requirements on the tower’s wind load to withstand the strong winds during typhoon seasons. The design team meticulously adjusted the building’s orientation and entrance to reduce wind drag and improve pedestrians’ experience. The fluid elevations are clad in glass and metal panels, pouring down to form a huge curtain swept aside and twisted in the cosmic wind ending in a flurry of horizontally creased envelop surrounding a tall exhibition space and a unique canopy over the entrance. A smooth transition between the super high-rise and the low rise podium is achieved by pulling and twisting the vertical elements around the central axis, turning the tower walls into the podium roof.

podium marked by elegant lines ©2020 Terrence Zhang
podium marked by elegant lines ©2020 Terrence Zhang
podium marked by elegant lines ©2020 Terrence Zhang
podium marked by elegant lines ©2020 Terrence Zhang

“Architecture is not just an artistic expression. It should also be buildable solutions.” Parametric techniques were applied to design the details of the curvy curtain wall. With rigorous calculations, the curtain wall is divided into smaller, standardised units in a limited numbers of dimensional types. The glass panel units, mostly flat, are installed by sections and with gradually shifting angles to form the three-dimensional curve. The design team is thus able to realise the design with highest precision and minimised construction cost.

parametric techniques applied to rationalize the design ©2020 Aedas
parametric techniques applied to rationalize the design ©2020 Aedas
parametric techniques applied to rationalize the design ©2020 Aedas
parametric techniques applied to rationalize the design ©2020 Aedas
perfectly realised three-dimensional curve ©2020 Terrence Zhang
perfectly realised three-dimensional curve ©2020 Terrence Zhang
perfectly realised three-dimensional curve ©2020 Terrence Zhang
perfectly realised three-dimensional curve ©2020 Terrence Zhang
perfectly realised three-dimensional curve ©2020 Terrence Zhang
perfectly realised three-dimensional curve ©2020 Terrence Zhang

Project drawings

L1 Floor Plan ©2021 Aedas
L1 Floor Plan ©2021 Aedas
Elevation ©2021 Aedas
Elevation ©2021 Aedas
Section ©2021 Aedas
Section ©2021 Aedas
Northwest elevation ©2021 Aedas
Northwest elevation ©2021 Aedas
Northeast elevation ©2021 Aedas ©2021 Aedas
Northeast elevation ©2021 Aedas ©2021 Aedas
Southeast elevation ©2021 Aedas ©2021 Aedas
Southeast elevation ©2021 Aedas ©2021 Aedas
Southwest Elevation ©2021 Aedas
Southwest Elevation ©2021 Aedas

Project information

ProjectHengqin International Financial Center
LocationZhuhai, China
ArchitectAedas
ClientZhuhai Shizimen Central Business District Development Holdings Co., Ltd
Gross Floor Area218,955 sq m (above ground: 138,158 sq m; below ground: 80,797 sq m)
Completion Year2020
Design DirectorsGlobal Design Principal Dr Andy Wen, Chairman and Global Design Principal Keith Griffiths

Editing and translation: @Ibo, ©️FULLDES authorized publishing, copyright from the Author, Image copyright from the photographer or Company

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