Nanjing Road mixed use area by RTA-Office
Pint glasses of beer provided the inspiration for this cluster of tower blocks underway in Qingdao, China, by architects RTA-Office.
Set for completion in 2014, the mixed-use complex will occupy an entire city block and will provide offices, apartments and leisure facilities, including a hotel, a shopping centre, restaurants and a sports centre.
The city of Qingdao is also home to the Tsingtao brewery, one of China's largest lager manufacturers and the producer of the popular Tsingtao beer. RTA-Office chose to make reference to this by incorporating the shape and colour of a glass of beer within each structure.
"We have thoroughly studied the environment and character of the city to propose a project that the city can feel is its own project and that has a unique character," said the architects. "This strong reference suggested to us both the shape of the project and the colours."
The proposals are for a series of glazed towers, each with different heights and varying golden tones.
"We paid special attention to the configuration of the volumes," added the architects. "We set them very carefully and in a harmonious way. We also paid attention to the colour-scheme; the result gives a touch of elegance and warmth to the complex."
Leisure facilities will be located at ground level where possible and will spill out onto a series of new streets and plazas.
Lead by architect Santiago Parramón, Spanish firm RTA-Office has studios in Barcelona, Shanghai and Istanbul. Past projects include the basalt-clad House C in Barcelona.
Other unusual proposals we've featured from China include a pair of spiralling buildings inspired by an ancient emblem and a skyscraper inspired by spacecraft.
See more architecture in China »