10 Year Award of Excellence: Guangzhou International Finance Center, Guangzhou

Lin Deliang
Executive Director & CEO
Yuxiu Property Group, Hong Kong

Dominic Bettison
WilkinsonEyre, London

Reflections on a Landmark Tower for Guangzhou

Part of a strategic master plan to consolidate a new civic and financial center in Guangzhou, the sleek, tapered form of Guangzhou International Finance Center (IFC) looks just as modern now as it did upon its completion. Its full-height central atrium, rising from the grand reception on the 70th floor to a height of 115 meters, could house the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral. The building’s deceptively simple design, engineered using used rapid-prototyping physical and computer models, is based on a complex toroidal geometry, with each of the three façades set out on a radius of 5.1 kilometers vertically, and with a radius of 71 meters in plan and 10 meters on the corners.

It is the tallest building to incorporate a diagrid structure that acts as an exoskeletal frame, providing the rigidity to withstand horizontal wind forces, and alleviating the need for dampers. The diamond-shaped diagrid also provides a visual contrast with the smooth, curved form of the all-glass cladding. Other similarly ambitious, sculptural towers have followed this contemporary icon, such as the gently twisting Shanghai Tower, with its sinuous, glossy façade.

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