This exquisite aerial tower with 99 floating islands by Sou Fujimoto Architects visualizes our diverse future!

In the Qianhaiwan district of Shenzhen, China, the winning architectural design for the city’s New City Center Landmark competition has been given to Sou Fujimoto Architects for their floating water tower. Slated for ascent in Qianhai Bay, the new tower will appear almost like a freestanding, cylindrical water fountain. Rising to 268-meters in height, Sou Fujimoto Arhcitects’s tower will feature 99 pillar-like support beams, or “islands,” to carry the tower’s upper horizontal structure. Starting from the bay and moving towards the round upper deck, the pillars of the new tower gradually expand in width and stature to close in on the design’s symbolic ode to “the future of society in the age of diversity.”

Finding the initial inspiration for the ‘99-island’ tower, Sou Fujimoto turned to iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower to develop their own urban monument for the modern age, asking, “What does a new ‘tower’ mean in the 21st Century? How can a tower evolve while continuing to attract attention, as the Eiffel Tower does? And [one] which would face towards the bay?” From afar, the new tower will appear as a single entity, a solid structure, slowly distinguishing itself as a collection of columnar pillars that gradually split upon closer viewing. The illusion of being one solid structure as well as an orchestra of different parts sheds a brighter light on Sou Fujimoto Architects’ initial concept of inhabiting a future during this burgeoning age of diversity.

The new tower’s uppermost plane serves as a viewing platform, doubling as a three-dimensional exhibition space with enough room for both a restaurant and cafe. In addition to the minimal structural support that the pillars provide for the round upper deck, a centralized core bolsters the tower, which is then stabilized with a steel truss system and Kevlar tension cables located around the outer edge of the tower’s base. Constructed primarily from steel, concrete, Kevlar Rope, and carbon fiber, Sou Fujimoto Architects’ design for the New City Center Landmark competition uses structurally sound and unadorned building material to realize a contemporary microcosm of our diverse, complex, and ever-evolving world.

Designer: Sou Fujimoto Architects

Appearing as if it’s suspended from mid-air, the plan for the new tower will feature 99 island-like pillars stemming from the round upper deck to the bay.

The upper deck works as an exhibition space.

From afar, the new tower looks like a freestanding, cylindrical water fountain.

The upper viewing area is meant to appeal to tourists and residents alike as a social hub where new views of the city can be accessed.

A centralized core supports the tower while a peripherally located steel truss system and additional Kevlar tension cables stabilize it.

Inside the tower, tourists can view the bay from below and rise to 268-meters above sea level.

A three-dimensional exhibition space gives tourists space to enjoy all the amenities the new tower has to offer.

OPPO’s new “O” headquarters by Bjarke Ingels show how architecture + typography are a perfect match

In what could be an incredible branding move, OPPO’s new headquarter design will adorn the Hangzhou skyline with a massive O. Envisioned by Bjarke Ingels Group, the headquarters are described as an “infinity loop” shaped skyscraper that “connects [the] ground to sky in a continuous loop of collaboration”.

The larger-than-life O-Tower is representative of OPPO‘s status as China’s largest smartphone manufacturer. The upper and lower surfaces of the O remain flattened, creating what feels like a möbius strip that represents Oppo’s infinite potential and innovative spirit.

The O-Tower will be located in Hangzhou’s Future Sci-Tech City, within the Zhejiang province of China. Its purpose will be to primarily serve as an R&D building for the smartphone company while acting as an “iconic landmark and gateway” to the business district.

The O-Tower lights up after sundown, creating a magnificent letter-O in Hangzhou’s skyline at night. Not only does it serve as an iconic landmark within the city, but it also helps reinforce Oppo’s brand through the incredible architecture.

Meanwhile, the front and the top view look equally stunning in the day, creating a rather memorable piece of architecture that’s both iconic and awe-inspiring. The tower is expected to be built alongside a natural lake and a 10,000 square-meter park.

The O-Tower creates a pretty stunning entrance into the building as you walk right through the alphabet into a large circular courtyard populated with greenery. “The central oasis and the surrounding [Hangzhou] wetland park expands the public realm into the heart of the complex,” explained Bjarke Ingels, founder of the Denmark-based architecture studio BIG.

“The compact form folding in on itself provides large flexible floorplates with the daylight access and fresh air of a slender tower”, says Ingels. The O-Tower’s lower floors will contain exhibition spaces, conference areas, and a canteen, while the offices located on the floors above will be joined with a series of triple-height spaces under the sloping facade of the tower’s roof. On the outside, the building will be wrapped in an adaptive louvre facade, featuring slanted slats that almost look like the building has fingerprints. These facades, however, will play an important role in minimizing solar glare. “The adaptive louvered facade omits incoming solar glare and thermal heat gain, enhancing the passive performance of the building”, says Ingels, who’s studio BIG began working with the Chinese smartphone manufacturer at the beginning of 2019 to envision the R&D Building’s design and master plan.

Designer: Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) for OPPO

US plans ‘a mix of actions’ against Russia over SolarWinds cyberattack

The US is preparing to retaliate against Russia after determining the country was probably involved in the SolarWinds cyberattack. Without providing specifics, White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed to CNBC that the government will carry out...

Russian, Chinese hackers may have stolen European vaccine data

State-backed hackers' attempts to steal COVID-19 vaccine data might be farther-reaching than you think. According to Reuters, sources for Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant claim (subscription required) that Russia and China both launched cyberattacks...

Biden will review tech supply chains to reduce dependence on China

The US is still heavily dependent on other countries for technology manufacturing (among other products), and President Biden is looking for ways to reduce that dependence. The LA Times has learned that Biden is ordering a review of US supply chains...