With a height of 411 meters, the building comes under the high-rise building category of the “super-high skyscrapers” of the CTBUH, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. This means that the architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners are putting up their highest building ever on the third plot. Design activities for the first two building plots (A and B) had already started after the gmp master plan obtained first prize in the competition at the beginning of last year. Now the client has also given the go-ahead for the third building plot (C). The site lies to the south-west of the inner city next to the trade exhibition grounds, and is the key project for linking two urban axes of the Hexi New Town development.
For the „Nanjing Financial City – Phase II“ the architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners are designing an ensemble of five high-rise buildings. The plan is to create a business district with a total of 786,000 square meters of gross floor area. The 65,000 square meter site comprises offices in combination with an upmarket infrastructure for conference and meeting facilities, as well as serviced apartments and shops. A green axis runs through the site from north to south, dividing the plot into two parts; the two outer areas (A and C) are to be lined with high-rise buildings along the road frontages in accordance with the statutory building lines.
The third area (B) will be a landscaped canyon in the midst of the dense high-rise building structure which, with its squares and sunken courtyards, will become an integral part of the retail zone.
Building plot C, for which gmp has now been commissioned, is dominated by two towers – one a 245 meter high building primarily to be used for offices, the other a super-high skyscraper which, with a height of 411 meters, will provide an urban landmark that is visible from afar, and will accommodate a range of mixed uses.
A total of 186,000 square meters of the highest tower is subdivided into five office units with nine stories each. Above this section, from levels 61 to 79, 58,000 square meters are dedicated to a fivestar hotel with 250 rooms, amongst other functions. In addition, the top of the building includes exclusive meeting rooms, bars and first-class restaurants. In the entrance lobby of the base structure there will also be retail facilities and a foyer for two function rooms which are part of the hotel.
The design of the skyscraper is dominated by horizontal two-story-high bands, which accommodate special
functions such as a sky lobby and staff restaurants. In combination with vertical lines and recesses, a dynamic overall composition is created on the basis of the nearly square, regular footprint. The recesses in the building provide space for roof terraces right up to the upper stories, thus highlighting the idea of a „vertical city“ with usable external spaces. Similar to building plot A, plot C will also have a sunken landscaped garden at its center, which is flanked by four-story buildings. The ensemble is rounded off by the plinth of the high-rise building and a base structure that is also four stories high.
The spaces between the buildings are used for narrow streets and squares. Glazed facades create a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere, and provide space for shopping facilities. Overall, the new financial center provides the entire quarter with its own identity.
Commission for key project in the Hexi New Town expansion area The architects practice gmp has won the competition for Nanjing Financial City II and has been commissioned to produce the master plan and the design for the first development stage. The design for the large-scale financial center is based on intricate detail and references to Nanjing’s historic city structure.
After its successful participation in the competition for the design of “Nanjing Financial City – Phase II” von Gerkan, Marg and Partners has been commissioned with the design of the first of two development stages of the new finance and business center. The site of “Nanjing Financial City – Phase II” lies to the south-west of Nanjing’s inner city next to the trade exhibition grounds, and is the key project for linking two urban axes in Nanjing’s expansion area Hexi New Town. The Hamburg architects were already successful with their design for the first phase of “Nanjing Financial City”, which is now under construction.
For phase II of Nanjing Financial City, gmp Architects propose an ensemble of five high-rise buildings with heights of between 157 m and 415 m. The idea is to create a business district with an unmistakable urban quality and its own identity. The master plan produced by the practice provides a 415 m high tower block directly at the crossing point of the “Youth Olympic Club” axis and the “Central Business District” axis, which will create a landmark with a strong recognition effect. The 65,000 m² site will be developed into an urban quarter with mixed uses, including offices in combination with an upmarket infrastructure for numerous conference and meeting facilities, as well as serviced apartments and shops.
The green axis, which runs from north to south and crosses the completed Central Business District and both development sites of Nanjing Financial City, divides the overall site of phase II of Nanjing Financial City into three parts. On the two outer development sites, the architects are planning high-rise buildings in line with the road layout and the specified building lines; the western of the two sites is currently being designed. The third area is part of the crossing green axis, creating a breathing canyon in the midst of the high-density high-rise building structure.
This green canyon – with its squares, sunken courtyards, and landscaped areas – will become an integrated part of the retail zone. This area has the benefit of spectacular vistas to the surrounding architecture, and the quarter is connected to its neighborhood via pedestrian bridges.
In order to provide a structure to the overall building volume with its 500,000 m² of net floor area above ground, the architects use joints to divide the building façades. Vertical recesses define the outer shape of the buildings, and horizontal inserts define the functional uses. Four-story structures form the plinths of the outer towers. In the interiors of the respective parts of the site, these plinth buildings are supplemented by three-story retail developments with a small-scale structure. Perforated façades of natural stone slabs in the lanes and squares generated between these buildings create a pedestrian-friendly and familiar atmosphere of a scale that is reminiscent of historic inner cities. This internal structure is rounded off with market squares in each development site. The plinth level is dedicated to pedestrians and open-air shopping, and creates a deliberate contrast to the classic indoor shopping mall. It is not only joints that separate the retail area from offices, hotel and serviced apartment areas in the tower blocks. The business world, which can be seen by pedestrians in the “inner city” by looking up, is characterized by transparent, vertically structured steel/glass façades that contrast with the plinths. The public areas for shopping, dining, and strolling almost seem to belong to a different era, while the business façades of the towers above reflect state-of-the-art modern high-rise architecture. Even though the new high-rise quarter appears very modern, even futuristic, at first sight, the design was nevertheless inspired by a local and historic building monument – Nanjing’s city wall, dating from the 14th century which, with its length of 35 km and conspicuous city gates, is considered the longest city wall still standing in the world today. The stone plinth of the ensemble which, with its small-scale squares and lanes is reminiscent of the historic inner city, and which, like the city wall, can be accessed on foot at a higher level, seems to adopt the principle of “city wall” in a modern form and at a different level of scale. Planted roof areas as “fifth façades” and recesses in the towers provide numerous viewing points analogous to the structure of the ramparts. This modern “city in the city” is flanked by the five towers.
The architects’ search for the specific character of the place and the city of Nanjing is the base for creating familiar exterior spaces with urban qualities at a human scale in this newly developed area, which gives this city quarter its own identity.