Büro Ole Scheeren has won an international design competition with its entry for a 350-meter (1,148-foot), supertall, mixed-use skyscraper in Nanjing, China. Called the Nanjing Nexus, the tower concept is said to merge local tradition and culture with a vision of the future, while serving as the symbol of a new urban identity for this city of 8.5 million.
The Nanjing Nexus proposal stands out through its octagonal form, in which each face forms a concave bay. According to the architects, these surfaces are designed to optimize the building’s solar performance and reduce structural wind loads while reflecting light allowing the tower to shimmer. The eight bays are horizontally split and vertically shifted to create offsets and to form a skyline.
Large windows that Büro Ole Scheeren classifies as “Urban Windows” are featured throughout the building, reportedly opening up to accommodate diverse programs and communicate the activity of the building to the city. These spaces also host an abundance of vegetation, forming vertical gardens, which refer to the garden culture of Jiangsu province.
“Nanjing Nexus is a building that explores the question how contemporary architecture can absorb, and in fact amplify, historical context and meaning by fusing the qualities of the past with the requirements of a future-oriented workspace within the verticality of a super-tall office tower,” said principal architect Ole Scheeren. “The convergence of past and present is not merely about formal gestures — it is about creating actual experiences and spaces with specific emotive and experiential qualities.”
According to the architects' announcement, the tower shape allows for highly efficient floor plans and structured programming. Office spaces are divided into four standardized rectangular work clusters, which are complemented by four diagonally-rotated interactive “Innovation Bays.”
A hotel is located at the top of the tower. It offers a roof terrace with a pool deck, restaurant, and gardens, along with multi-directional views.
Sitting next to Nanjing Nexus is a 100-meter-tall (328-foot-tall) satellite tower that is conceived as a small-scale version of the tower. Together, the pair form a new landmark in Nanjing’s new Jiangbei District.
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