KPF’s Robert Whitlock, Design Principal, and Li Lei, Design Director, attended this summer’s CITIC Tower Forum in Beijing to discuss the evolution of the supertall CITIC Tower project in anticipation of its completion later this year.
From its inception, the project aspired to reframe the skyline of Beijing’s new central business district – becoming the area’s crown jewel and the second tallest building in Northern China. Later this year, CITIC Tower will join KPF’s portfolio of supertall buildings, alongside 5 of the 10 tallest in the world.
The team shared KPF’s original inspiration drawn from the ‘zun’, a traditional Chinese ritualistic artifact, and gave an overview of the structure’s final design and construction details. The design of the 528-meter tall office tower abstracts and refines the form, balancing design and articulation with structural requirements and leasing depth needs. The tower’s shape expresses the distinctive curvature of the ‘zun’ with a square base, rounded corners, and an elegant sense of proportion that transforms vertically from its 78-meter-wide base to its 54-meter-wide “waist” to its 69-meter-wide top. At the top and bottom, the building’s malleable shell is pulled up and stretched, forming the smooth arcs of its canopies and lobby and embodying the historic capital city’s gracefulness.
CITIC, China’s largest global conglomerate, commissioned the building and will move its headquarters for CITIC Group and CITIC Bank into the building upon completion, alongside tenant occupied office space and a business club. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), and China International Exchange Committee for Tall Buildings (CITAB) co-hosted the CITIC Tower Forum alongside CITIC.
Read more about KPF’s work on supertalls and the CITIC Tower here.