German studio HENN Architects recently won a competition to design a 920 foot skyscraper that will house offices and a hotel in the Chinese city of Taiyuan, Shanxi province. The Cenke Tower will feature a narrow profile and glazed convex curves along its face which help to highlight the aluminum supports laced throughout the building. As the height of the building increases, its trapezoid shape reduces, altering the amount of sunlight that reaches different parts of the building. This unique feature allows for the offices to receive optimum solar shading and maximum interior daylight, while hotel guests can enjoy the widest possible views over the city.
Situated at the north-south axis in the center of Taiyuan, the building is separated into three distinct functions – retail space in the basement, a hotel on the upper floors, and office space throughout the rest of the building. The entrance area is located on the building’s western side along the lively boulevard, and a planted sunken courtyard on the south side merges seamlessly into the basement, providing ample public space.
The tower’s longer sides are comprised of convex shells with vertically accented facades constructed from opaque aluminum elements and glass with varying degrees of transparency. The narrower sides boast concave curvatures and smooth transparent glass facades that strike a counterpoint to the solid, powerful overall appearance of the building. They also provide a view into the building’s interior and show off the elegant, diagonally braced structure that is threaded through the entire building.
Images by HENN Architects