Doughnut-shaped skyscraper
completed in Guangzhou

| 17 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

  • amsam

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

  • Starkitect Wannabe

    One of the ugliest pieces of architecture.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • Massimo

    Any possibility of rolling it away?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Tsukiyo

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