London-based architecture firm Tonkin Liu recently revealed their competition-winning designs for the Cradle Towers in Zhengzhou, China. Centered on a large green space, this collection of five mixed-use towers is designed with a swooping sculptural form to mimic the nearby Songshan mountains. This urban “mountainscape” will be partly covered in greenery and feature a responsive skin to control solar shading and maximize energy efficiency.



Cradle Towers by Tonkin Liu, Zhengzhou architecture, mountain inspired architecture, Songshan mountain inspired buildings, Cradle Towers in Zhengzhou, Cradle Towers in China

Located in a city regarded as China’s cradle of civilization, the 434,000-square-meter Cradle Towers pay homage to the city’s ancient past with its nature-inspired form and simultaneously looks to the future with its contemporary design. The five tapered towers will be built at different heights atop a podium. The towers surround a central park with a large man-made lake that will double as an ice skating rink in the winter.

Cradle Towers by Tonkin Liu, Zhengzhou architecture, mountain inspired architecture, Songshan mountain inspired buildings, Cradle Towers in Zhengzhou, Cradle Towers in China

Related: 5+design stacks a dramatic mountain-inspired mixed-use project atop a transit hub in Shenyang

The mixed-use buildings will comprise offices, apartments, and a hotel. The podium base will contain retail and leisure open to the public. The fritted glass facade will feature a responsive skin that changes to minimize solar heat gain. The facade has a subtle color gradation and transitions from dark at the podium base to light at the tops of the building, “establishing the podium as a heavy mass and blending the lantern-like tips of the towers with the sky,” write the architects. Each building will be topped by a landscaped rooftop.

+ Tonkin Liu

Via ArchDaily

Cradle Towers by Tonkin Liu, Zhengzhou architecture, mountain inspired architecture, Songshan mountain inspired buildings, Cradle Towers in Zhengzhou, Cradle Towers in China

Cradle Towers by Tonkin Liu, Zhengzhou architecture, mountain inspired architecture, Songshan mountain inspired buildings, Cradle Towers in Zhengzhou, Cradle Towers in China

Cradle Towers by Tonkin Liu, Zhengzhou architecture, mountain inspired architecture, Songshan mountain inspired buildings, Cradle Towers in Zhengzhou, Cradle Towers in China