WRITINGS / INTERVIEWS / LECTURES

HUAXI TOWER

Guiyang, China / 2008



A 100-meter tall office building in Guiyang, China, this project was a joint venture between MAD Architects, TWA, and several other international architects.

The design re-examines how normally hidden tower infrastructure, such as mechanical, structural, and lighting systems, might be leveraged to create architectural effects. Rather than defaulting to the literal expression of individual systems, as in Machine Expressionism of the 1970’s, the goal here is to create technological hybrids that cannot be reduced or unwound, and embed them in architectural envelope.

Ductwork migrates outwards from its conventional position at the central core, fusing with the structural frame, and pressing into the glass envelope. This produces giant hollow structural tubes, nestled into deep pleats visible on the exterior. These tubes branch out and run across the building facades, linking to the floor plenums on each level and at various locations along the perimeter. Cooling tower coils, typically found in rooftop machinery, are unwound and embedded into the radiant glass skin as micro-pleats. OLED Lighting tracks with these systems, creating atmospheric and depth effects behind the glass shroud.

Client: Hualong Investment Group Ltd.
Type: 110 M. Office Tower
Floor Area: 20,000 m2
General Planner: MAD Office Ltd., Beijing