From Chicago’s Goettsch Partners: A new tower in China that’s nearly as tall as Willis


How hot is China right now? This hot: Chicago architects are designing a new skyscraper there that would be nearly as tall as the Willis Tower and barely anyone (except Cityscapes) is noticing it.

The design comes from Goettsch Partners, and it’s for a mixed-use tower in the city of Tianjin that would combine offices, a hotel, condominiums and retail space. The projected height is 439 meters, or 1440 feet, about 3 meters, or 11 feet shorter, than Willis.

You wonder if they’ll be tempted to stretch the height a tad, just to say that the skyscraper is taller than the tallest building in North America. But I doubt it, given that the 1,776-foot 1 World Trade Center in New York, scheduled for completion in 2013, will remain considerably taller.

The Goettsch project is scheduled for completion in 2015, but whether it really happens remains to be seen. As Chicagoans know from the saga of the Chicago Spire, it is far easier to announce a supertall than to build one.

Here’s a brief description of the project from the Goetttsch office:

“The building’s design responds to the programmatic needs of each function, as well as to the decreasing size of the core. The tower unwraps around its vertical axis as it ascends, similar in nature to a shell or ancient scroll. In this manner, the form relates to the historical context of the site’s location in the Tanggu district, a point of sea trade. The unwinding form also creates unique opportunities to introduce multi-story atria into the program in each vertical zone. These landscaped interior spaces provide ideal circulation for multi-floor tenants, daylighting for deeper lease spans, and inviting social meeting spaces within the building’s upper floors. The landscaped interiors are an instrumental part of the overall environmental sensitivity to the new downtown’s iconic centerpiece.”


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