Futuristic tower in China would include 99 floating islands
How do you create a spectacular landmark for a city’s skyline while evolving the very idea of what makes a tower? Well, a group of architects has an idea. They want to build a new structure called the “ethereal tower” made up of 99 floating islands in the huge Chinese city of Shenzhen.
Shenzhen is a coastal city in southern Guangdong Province, just 41 kilometers from Hong Kong. Benefiting from its location, Shenzhen has grown tremendously over the past decades, becoming a modern and international metropolis and is known as “China’s Silicon Valley”. It is home to major tech companies such as Huawei and Lenovo, as well as many emerging start-ups, and more than 12 million people live there.
With a massive skyline, Shenzhen is China’s fastest growing city. It went from a small fishing town to a bustling megalopolis in a matter of decades. Every year, millions of people flock to its downtown area from around the world to enjoy its investment-friendly practices, while tourists admire its futuristic landscape. Shenzhen only tracks Shanghai and Beijing in China for overall GDP. Now the city wants to show something spectacular for all this growth.
Renowned Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto created a design for a massive floating tower on the bay of the Qianhaiwan district of Shenzhen. He pitched his idea in a competition that was to answer the questions of “What does a new ‘tower’ mean in the 21st century?” “” And “How can a tower evolve while continuing to attract attention, like the Eiffel Tower does?”
The proposed tower is 268 meters high (880 feet) and would be made up of 99 individual tower-shaped pieces, connected by a strong horizontal plaza at the top. The pieces fade as they descend, giving the impression of floating in the air. It is both a single tower and a set of towers, symbolizing the future of societies in the age of diversity.
The tower will be constructed primarily from steel, carbon fiber, concrete and Kevlar cables, with a steel truss system located at the periphery with Kevlar tension cables maintaining core balance. A centralized core serves as the basis for the entire tower, which is connected by peripheral voltage cables that resemble water flowing towards the bay.
A mirrored inverted frozen fountain will feature an observation deck, exhibition area, restaurant and cafe inside the cables. The upper deck is intended to be used for exhibits, hoping to please visitors and locals as a social hub where stunning views of the city and bay can be seen all around. It is a design hoped to adapt to a changing city.
This isn’t the first futuristic project proposed in Shenzhen – architects are flocking to the new metropolis, and the city’s skyline is already starting to show its status. However, surprising as it sounds, it is still not clear if construction will actually get the green light. If so, it will be a sight to see.