Hanking Center Tower

February 25, 2016
An innovative skyscraper by Morphosis rethinks the structural core. Winner of a 2016 Progressive Architecture Award.

From the east and west, the 73-story Hanking Center Tower now rising in the tech hub of Chinese megacity Shenzhen almost seems to be two separate buildings: a boxy, vertical, aluminum-clad monolith and an angular torso of steel and patterned glass that juts out and up, whose sharp creases (pictured at right) give it a body-like profile as it rises. Designed by Los Angeles–based Morphosis Architects, the project is an innovative take on the skyscraper typology, relying not merely on simple formal tweaks but rather a more radical repositioning of its core.

When viewed from the east, it becomes clear that the rectangular monolith is a detached core and circulation spine for this new 1.19 million-square-foot office tower. Large diagonal braces connect the two volumes, and sky bridges offer a view of the city below as visitors filter from the elevators in the core to the offices in the tower proper.

Key to Hanking Center Tower is a robust steel frame, an almost superstructural exoskeleton that at once holds the building up and defines its shape. Its bends create a variety of sizes for the floors, making them more adaptable to different users and their spatial demands. ...