This week we look at the Canton Tower, located in Guangdong, China. It’s a multi-use tower with an observation deck at the top which offers birds-eye views of the city.
Other notable features are the swivel shape, “narrow waist,” and night-time glow. It stands at 1,982 feet high. It was the tallest tower in the world until the Tokyo Skytree claimed that title in March of 2011 at 2,080 feet.
Designed by Mark Hemel and Barbara Kuit of Information Based Architecture and built between 2005 and 2010, their concept was to create something more feminine than the typical tower and also a structure that seemed alive. They decided to include the twist in the Tower’s design to portray those ideas.
Its original name was Haixin Tower which was sourced from a contest of over 180,000 entries! The name harkens back to the city’s role as the start of the maritime silk road. Ultimately, it was decided that Haixin Tower was not descriptive enough and that people unfamiliar with the historical context would not understand the meaning. It was known locally as “slim waist” and “twisted firewood” until the name Canton Tower was decided upon.
The tower utilizes seven thousand individual LED nodes to glow at night, each of which can be controlled individually.
Beyond just an observation deck and interesting structure, Canton Tower is meant to be interactive. Visitors can explore the open-air skywalk which traverses 558 feet of the tower — some which is laid in transparent glass. Additional amenities include outdoor gardens, restaurants, and a 4D cinema.