ZT tower

Year: 2014
Size: 150,000 m2
Type: mixed-use
Status: competition
Location: Zhuhai, Guangdong, China
Client: Zhuhai Zhongtie Ltd.

Partners in charge: Federico Ruberto, Chen Chen, Nicola Saladino
Design team: Virginia Savoini, Wei Zhao, Tairan An

External collaborator: JAL and Partners

The 300m high Zhongtie Tower is located in Shizimen CBD. This future waterfront landmark is part of Hengqin island Zhuhai City, Guangdong Province, facing directly Hongkong and Macao.

The tower is placed at the northwest corner of the site. A four storey podium encloses the site, taking advantage of the higher commercial value on the east side of the site, brought by the pedestrian flow from the subway and Rongzhu Rd. The ground floor is made permeable through breaking down the massing into intimate street-like scale to allow various fluxes from the city to intersect each other, converging to the very core of the building. A series of ramps in the podium brings people to balconies and terraces on various levels to end on the rooftop public plaza. Continuous circulation extends the surrounding streets into the interior spaces, activating pockets of program at different times of the day.

The building volume and skin, flirting with the modern aesthetics of modernity are prevalently a response to two different inputs: the environmental particularities of the location and the revision of the skyscraper typology. The tower is formed as an aerodynamic response to the prevalent winds and the curtain wall is designed to accommodate panels of different transparencies in accordance to the solar exposure: important conditions for a site located in such a sub-tropical climate. A system of passive ventilation that responds to seasonal variations in temperature is integrated as a volumetric filter on three sides of the tower. An operation that allowed the formation along the vertical axe of the hanging volumes which are mainly containing meeting rooms, intimate stanzas with a view over the landscape This particular move helped in emphasizing the tower vertical silhouette diminishing its portentous and massive visual impact given by the impressive amount of required area. The podium on its side tries to accommodate environmental strategies such as a green roof and a rainwater collection system.

Responding again to conditions that regard solar exposure and visual potentials over the mountains the sea and the city, the program is distributed with a relatively homogeneity along the vertical axe. The building is a two blocks complex: a mix-use podium and a tower that contains offices [F1-44], apartments and hotels [F45-61]. The typical floor adopts an 8m structural grid which provides flexibility needed for multiple layout possibility. The 3.5m structural setback from the façade boundary allows the facade play with subtle folds. The gaps between “hanging pockets” and the main volume are openable to respond to seasonal ventilation requirements.