Shenzhen North station tower

N. Slijkerman

258 meters up in the air, Shenzhen tower is by far the biggest and most exciting project I’ve worked on in China. Starting a competition in China with such clear and high demanding context is not always a standard.


Immediately it gave the design process a very real touch. Its position is beside the high speed train station of the Longhua district, and so generated questions on how this urban complex would operate in its largest scale. Commuters from Shenzhen, China, Hong Kong and further will pass through the Longhua high-speed train station; they will therefore be directly or indirectly in interaction with the design.


The site is closely connected to a multitude of public transportation services such as the high speed train, the bus station, the taxi station, the metro station and a future planed urban boulevard. The initial position for the design was to integrate these public flows in the podium, connecting on three different levels. This design attitude is also reflected in the design of the tower.


The second challenge for the design was how to differentiate the new tower from the surrounding high-rises. The concept of a classical tower spiraling along its vertical axis became the answer to creating a clearly defined form. In this way the tower embodies the image of self sustaining identity, becoming also a way of creating controlled public space in the tower. The tower rotates above each refugee floor, creating an atrium for public functions. As the tower twists the floor plans change from a large office floorplate to the much smaller floorplate required for the hotel.


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