Nanjing Road mixed use area by RTA-Office for Qingdao, China

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.

Nanjing Road mixed use area by 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.

Nanjing Road mixed use area by RTA-Office

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.

Nanjing Road mixed use area by RTA-Office

"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."

Nanjing Road mixed use area by RTA-Office

The proposals are for a series of glazed towers, each with different heights and varying golden tones.

Nanjing Road mixed use area by RTA-Office

"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."

Nanjing Road mixed use area by RTA-Office

Leisure facilities will be located at ground level where possible and will spill out onto a series of new streets and plazas.

Nanjing Road mixed use area by RTA-Office

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.

Nanjing Road mixed use area by RTA-Office

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.

Nanjing Road mixed use area by RTA-Office

See more architecture in China »