The China Resources Tower anchors the burgeoning Houhai District with a design distinguished by its innovative structure and geometric precision, relaying a cultural message about the company’s history and growth.
Inspired by the spring bamboo shoot, the 400-meter tower features a light, stable and fast-to-erect tube and diagrid system that is expressed in its tapered, sculptural form. Rendered in pre-fabricated column and steel units, the system affords column-free interiors, in turn allowing greater expression of the tower’s radial symmetry and more boutique floorplates as it rises. The 56 vertical columns converge into 28 columns at the lower and upper sections of the tower, forming a series of entry portals at the tower’s base and merging to a singular point at its peak. At these junctures, faceted, triangular glass panels illuminate at night with a jewel-like brilliance across Shenzhen’s waterfront business district.
In particular, the tower’s “sky hall” is as a conical, cathedral-like space offering visitors stunning views of the diagrid spire – it is one the few high-rises in the world in which people can occupy its absolute highest point. In this vein, China Resources Tower also crowns the larger, KPF-planned development that stitches retail, residential, and office amenities with 2,000 square meters of public space and the city’s greenbelt and waterfront. Together, the tower and complex invigorates Shenzhen’s urban fabric while providing one of the country’s premier companies with a visual icon for its historic growth and stature.
Working in collaboration with the US architect KPF, we investigated different building shapes and provided construction support throughout the project. Our scope of services includes structural engineering, geotechnics, façade design and fire safety strategy.
Unique structural system
The building has a sculptured form of 56 external slender columns stemming from the diagrids at the bottom and converging into a crystal cap at the top. To fully reflect the architect’s intent, Arup developed a close-column frame and core structure system without strengthened storeys.
Compared with traditional megacolumn and sparse column frames, this system is more efficient in vertical force transmission and better fits the slender form of the building. It’s also more cost-effective and requires a shorter construction period.
It is the first time this structural system is used in a mega-tall building in a seismic area in mainland China.
Creating column-free space
We provided a range of innovative solutions for this complex structure. These included the eccentric column beam connection that creates a column-free interior and the set-back of the core layout along the tower height that not only increases the net floor area, but also improves the core integrity.
To maximise open space at the top sky hall, a 68.4m high, lightweight space structure was introduced to fit the building diagrid massing.
Improving occupant comfort
Tall buildings in typhoon areas have to be designed to ensure they take in to account the risk of wind. We carried out wind tests for the CR HQ and its design was fine-tuned to improve the skyscrapers behaviour under different wind loads. The wind-induced vibration can also be disconcerting for occupants. Viscous outrigger dampers are adopted to reduce these vibrations and create a more comfortable environment for occupants.
Optimising the process
During the design process, we used advanced structural optimisation technologies to understand the cost sensitivity of the structure system components, and optimise its dynamic properties and stiffness. It also helped us to visualise the steelwork fabrication, identify potential problems during construction and resolve them all in advance.
Article courtesy of ARUP