Doughnut-shaped skyscraper
completed in Guangzhou

| 40 comments
 

News: a skyscraper shaped like a giant doughnut has been completed by Italian architect Joseph di Pasquale in Guangzhou, China (+ slideshow).

Doughnut-shaped skyscraper completes in Guangzhou

Located on the edge of the Pearl River, the 138-metre Guangzhou Circle was designed by Di Pasquale of Milan studio AM Project to provide an iconic headquarters for Chinese companies Guangdong Hongda Xingye Group and GDPE Guangdong Plastic Exchange.

Doughnut-shaped skyscraper completes in Guangzhou

"The architectural concept is for a building that will be immediately perceived as a native Chinese landmark using a closed and central structure instead of the usual western skyscrapers stereotype,"said the architect.

Doughnut-shaped skyscraper completes in Guangzhou

A circle with a 50-metre diameter punctures the heart of the 33-storey structure, turning the building into a hollow circle. When reflected in the river, this shape becomes a figure of eight - a lucky number in Chinese culture.

Doughnut-shaped skyscraper completes in Guangzhou

"[It] is inspired by the strong iconic value of jade discs and numerological tradition of feng shui, in particular, the double disc of jade (bi-disk) is the royal symbol of ancient Chinese dynasty that reigned in this area around 2000 years ago," said Di Pasquale.

Doughnut-shaped skyscraper completes in Guangzhou

"This figure also corresponds to the number eight and infinity symbol that in Chinese culture have a strong propitiatory value," he added.

Doughnut-shaped skyscraper completes in Guangzhou

The front and rear walls of the building are clad with copper plates, while the curved side walls are broken down into glazed rectilinear boxes.

Doughnut-shaped skyscraper completes in Guangzhou

Elevated gardens are located within the central void.

Doughnut-shaped skyscraper completes in Guangzhou

Here's a project description from Joseph di Pasquale:


Guangzhou Circle (Canton), China

On December 16th 2013 the completion ceremony of the Guangzhou Circle Mansion had taken place in Guangzhou, China. It's the Headquarter of Guangdong Hongda Xingye Group and the venue of GDPE Guangdong Plastic Exchange, the world largest stock exchange for raw plastic material with more then 40 billions euros of annual turn over.

 

Doughnut-shaped skyscraper completes in Guangzhou

Local and Italian authorities will attend the ceremony including the Italian General Consul in Guangzhou mr Benedetto Latteri and the scientific responsible of the Italian Embassy in Beijing, mr Giuseppe Rao.

Doughnut-shaped skyscraper completes in Guangzhou

The building has been designed by the Italian architect Joseph di Pasquale and his professional practice AM project from Milan that has been the winning proposal of the international architectural competition held in 2009. The total height is 138 mt for 33 floors, 85.000 square meters of floor area and about 50 million euros of global investment. The inner hole is a unique space that has no equal in the world with its almost fifty meters of diameter (48 mt).

Doughnut-shaped skyscraper completes in Guangzhou

The architectural concept intends to design landmark building that will be immediately perceived as a native Chinese Landmark Building using a closed and central structure instead of the usual western skyscrapers stereotype. Therefore the architecture is fully defined, and iconic, very close to the Chinese way of perceiving and understanding. It's a sort of "urban logo" that works as a landmark in the same way that ideograms are used in the Chinese writing, instead of the alphabet.

Doughnut-shaped skyscraper completes in Guangzhou

The architectural concept is inspired by the strong iconic value of jade discs and numerological tradition of feng shui. In particular, the double disc of jade (bi-disk) is the royal symbol of ancient Chinese dynasty that reigned in this area around 2000 years ago. The building reflected in the water of the river creates exactly the same image: a double jade disc.

Doughnut-shaped skyscraper completes in Guangzhou
Site plan - click for larger image

This figure also corresponds to the number 8 and infinity symbol that Chinese culture has a strong propitiatory value. Just remember how the date and time of the start of the Beijing Olympics was for the same reason fixed to 8:08 am of the '8-8-2008.

Doughnut-shaped skyscraper completes in Guangzhou
Long section - click for larger image

But the building is also a clear reference to the theme dear to the Italian Renaissance "quadratura del cerchio" (squaring the circle). The two circular facades in fact contain and support suspended groups of storeys that are actually "squaring" the perfect circumference of the facades in order to make the interior space orthogonal and habitable.

Doughnut-shaped skyscraper completes in Guangzhou
Front elevation - click for larger image

The 33 floors are grouped to create two rows of volumes blocks that appears from the side of the building and are progressively pushed out till an extreme 25 meters cantilever. The main interior space is the exchange hall that is located just lower then the central hole of the building. This is the heart of the entire complex and of the entire company.

Doughnut-shaped skyscraper completes in Guangzhou
Side elevations - click for larger image

The initial structural concept has been developed and tested at the wind gallery of Polytechnic of Milan, and the structural calculations and final test has been developed by the South China University of Technology (SCUT) in Guangzhou.

  • Will

    Magpie architecture

  • rui pedro

    Why?

  • Animesh

    Ugly!

  • microtoma

    Hope it won’t start rolling…

  • Dan

    How are there no interior photos?

    • Ronel Constantin

      Because it’s worth not seeing them!

  • amsam

    Yikes. It’d look so much better without the doughnut facia.

  • Starkitect Wannabe

    One of the ugliest pieces of architecture.

  • Romain_M

    Does it whistle when the wind blows?

    Both companies housed within this building deal in plastics; I wonder why they didn’t choose a form that better represented their fields of expertise. This may have been one of the only buildings where the Zaha Hadid route may have been relevant.

  • Dan

    I remember working on something very similar, a sun-shaped high-rise in China. The design got cancelled because it looked too similar to the Japanese flag. How come this one got built?!

    • Gabriel Tam

      I thought the design was based on the shape of a traditional Chinese coin, but then realised they usually had a square centre rather than that of a circle.

    • c

      In the Chinese government’s mind… because the hole is in it, it’s just a doughnut!

  • James Longfield

    I think that they have somewhat overestimated the reflective nature of the adjacent river. Bet it looked good in the renders though.

  • xx

    Must be purely client-driven project. MR ZHOU at the top of the world lol.

  • antoine

    Is that what we call architecture nowadays? Seriously, a doughnut? Shocking.

  • francois

    The architect must be really fat to have a doughnut as his only inspiration.

  • kelvin

    Have never seen such an irresponsible architect ripping off an un-educated developer and irresponsibly ruining the cityscape. Shameless.

  • francois

    Who is the client, Homer Simpson?

  • Colin Bisset

    Interesting how there’s no reflection though, in that murky river – concept stuff not meant for the real world, perhaps.

  • kadap

    Hope it rolls away soon.

  • Ali mac

    Jo Pasquale is the architect. No wonder it’s a joke

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Pasquale

  • dastroboy

    If everything in this country is architected by people from Western countries, how can this be considered a “native Chinese landmark”?

  • Ming

    I’m really curious of what Mr. Zhou looks like.

  • amino

    As a Chinese who was born in Guangzhou, I was so ashamed when I saw it built in my city. Yes, one of the most ugly buildings in the world.

  • p

    Normal Chinese people will never, ever need a building like this…just our unusual public officials and their friends. Upstarts

  • Massimo

    Any possibility of rolling it away?

  • sun

    There is a similar building in another Chinese city Shenyang. Their ideas both come from a traditional Chinese coin. That building has been rated as one of the world’s top 10 ugliest buildings.

  • Rae Claire

    Does it rotate like a Ferris wheel? Truly horrendous, and I like goofy buildings in general.

  • Rae Claire

    Oh, and think of the fun for small aircraft and airborne superheroes.

  • Gayle Alstrom

    Because I spent my life working in a multitude of high-rise office buildings, I always think about what it would be like to work in something like this. I think working in this building would be fun. I would love to see the interior, and know where the restaurants are.

  • S.C.EPTIC

    This is RIDICULOUS. How can the Chinese ever be taken seriously if they commission such utter rubbish. And to think it was an idea born in an Italian’s mind. Golly. What’s next?

  • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

    So Chinese employees remember what their employers think of them: http://activerain.com/image_store/uploads/agents/jaredchristiansen/files/hamster-wheel.png

  • Chris MacDonald

    My goodness, that is quite possibly one of the ugliest things to grace my computer screen in quite some time.

    I suppose the phrase “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should” has never been more applicable.

  • mrswoo

    Inspired by a Jammy Dodger.

  • Raed Y.Ibrahim

    With full of respect to the one who wrote this article, it’s not the professional way to call it doughnut, the writer is unable to describe the concept of ancient Chinese coinage.

    If you consider yourself a professional design magazine you should consider the words with academic and potable to the readers mind. Not doughnut.

  • mouharram zeayter

    Bad. The HQ building in Abu Dhabi is much better :)

  • h30

    Hope it starts rolling, and carries on until it’s submerged.

  • dave

    With full of respect, it’s not professional to call this a “Chinese coin” since ancient copper coins have SQUARE holes, not round ones.

    Hence, this is a doughnut, regardless of the responsible architects’ attempts to justify this measly superficial interpretation on Chinese culture.

    Modern Chinese real estate is all about “landmarks”, which means the saturation and reduction of the rich Chinese culture into cheap geometric forms, when in reality Chinese culture has always emphasised on beauty in subtlety and poetic connotations.

    You can’t get cheaper or more superficial than this, the building doesn’t understand the concept of ancient Chinese heritage.

  • http://bibiviro.com BIBI VIRO

    What is it about the donut shape that is so enticing? Is it the dynamic tension of a circle within a circle? Or is it the balance between positive and negative shapes?

  • Tsukiyo

    The client of the one you worked on is a Japanese company, that’s the main reason.