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Tonkin Liu Unveils the Mountain-Inspired ‘Cradle Towers of Zhengzhou’ in China

Tonkin Liu Architects, based in London, unveils its competition-winning design proposal for the Trade Center in Zhengzhou, China. The ‘Cradle Towers’ of Zhengzhou is composed of 5 mixed-use towers, housing residential facilities, offices, and a hotel. The 5 towers emerge from a ring-like podium which houses retail and leisure facilities. The ring acts a transitional element between the city and the soft landscape within its perimeter.

Courtesy of Tonkin Liu

Tonkin Liu’s design aims to assert the value of its deep-rooted past while aspiring to a thriving future. Tonkin Liu explain: “Zhengzhou is the cradle of the nation’s civilization. It sits at the heart of one of the earliest settlement areas of ancient China. Emblematic of the parks of the nearby Songshan mountainscape, and the Round Sky and Square Earth proverb, the Cradle Towers celebrate the city’s origins as it looks to build its future.”

Courtesy of Tonkin Liu

The 5 towers of the Trade Center surfacing from the podium, with varying heights, and tapering gradually to the top, resemble the Songshan mountains located 50 miles east of Zhengzhou. All the towers and the deep base plan get their share of daylight through the vertical courtyards with vertical-garden-sheltered interior facades. The glass exterior facades are enveloped with a responsive skin for solar shading and privacy purposes. Upon looking from afar, the skin seems to be gradually transforming from the dark bottom to the light at the top and end with lantern-like roof gardens. The landscape that centers the project extends beyond the raised ring-shaped podium, linking the inner court with the city.

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