The Beijing government desired an iconic tower fit for the modern city, yet rooted in Chinese culture. CITIC Tower’s gently rising and curving form embodies the historic capital’s gracefulness, and resembles an ancient Chinese ceremonial vessel, called the Zun. This cultural reference serves as a generative motif. The articulation techniques of the Zun is distilled and applied throughout the design of the tower form, envelope, canopy, entrance portals, ground floor lobby, and observation hall interiors.
The tower is conceived as a transforming shell that gradually bends to create a dramatic profile. The texture of the subtly tightening and stretching envelope echoes the transformation of the tower massing. It is achieved by tapering and widening the major ribs along the tower height. At the bottom, the tower thrusts into the ground with massive corner supports, while the exterior shell is lifted up and stretched forward at four sides. The design visually extends the lobby outward, forming dynamic drop-off spaces and creating a focal point at the CBD core area. At the top, the exterior envelope becomes more transparent at the observation deck and allows more visibility to the inner trumpet-shaped business center, which lights up at night, forming a visible beacon.
Compared to that of a typically straight or tapering supertall, the concave tower shape allows for more valuable, prime office floor spaces and ample support systems spaces at the building top. Featuring 3-3.5m clear heights, superior indoor environment achieved by advanced control technology, and unparalleled views of the city, the quality office space has attracted renowned financial tenants.
CITIC Tower has become a prominent landmark for modern Beijing. With its elegant form, open and dynamic articulation at the base and top of the tower, it has become a symbol for a sophisticated and confident China.