Skyscraper of the Day: Meet The Zifeng Tower

Zifeng Tower, formerly known as Nanjing Greenland Financial Center, is a 450-meter (1,480 ft) supertall skyscraper located in Nanjing, Jiangsu in China. The building is currently the tallest in Nanjing and Jiangsu province, the eleventh tallest in China and the twentieth tallest in the world. The 89 storey tower opened in 2010 is a mixed use building comprised of retail and office space up to floor 41. Floors 49–71 feature a hotel, numerous restaurants, and a public observatory on the 72-floor.

The firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merril, who won a design competition hosted by the developers of the building, designed the tower. SOM is known for designing multiple award winning supertall skyscrapers across the world from the mid 20th century to the present day. At the base the design composes two separate blocks connected by a podium. According to the architects, Zifeng Tower was influenced by the three central elements of the rich history of Nanjing; the Yangtse River which flows through the city, the lush green landscape and the dragon and column iconography prevalent in Chinese tradition. Two interlocking forms that recall the image of China’s “dancing dragons” hug the central core of the tower. The tower’s exterior wall features angled panes of glass in staggered modules that suggest scales. Vertical and horizontal seams separate the textured glass surfaces, metaphorically relating to the clear water of the Yangtze River separating the great dragon forms.

The tower’s shape is also highly functional; at its base, the triangular form relates to shape and size of the site while maximizing views of the mountains, lake and historic Nanjing buildings. The stepped form indicates the uses within: The lower portion of the building contains office and retail space, while the upper levels house a hotel, restaurant, and public observatory. Thus the tower manages to offer sweeping views of the various points of interest in its surroundings.

The center is comprised of office space, a 500-room Intercontinental hotel, retail space and below grade parking. The top of the tower houses several restaurants and a public observatory. Landscaped clear-glass atria are found throughout the building, and an outdoor swimming pool and garden are located on the roof of the tower’s podium. At nighttime the spire of the tower is lit and hence has become a modern landmark for the city.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *