Work has been completed on the 203m-high Shandong Port Tower in China’s northeast port city of Qingdao, designed by Hamburg architect Gerkan, Marg & Partners (GMP).
The tower will house the Shandong port authority, and is located next to the city’s cruise terminal at the centre of Jiaozhou Bay port.
GMP’s brief was to create a distinctive form that would act as a landmark for the district. To do this, the architect developed a design with a triangular flooplate that rises with an elegant tapering curve, picked out with layers of white panelling, to evoke wind in sails. The functional aim was to provide large open-plan areas in the lower storeys and individual offices with reduced depths in the narrower upper section.
As is customary in modern Chinese high-rises, there is a large area of incorporated greenery. In this case, nine naturally ventilated gardens have been worked into the design to give office workers attractive break-out spaces. The top floors are taken up with a sky garden behind a transparent façade, complete with leisure, fitness and recreational amenities.
GMP was awarded the project in 2016 after winning an international competition. The structural engineer was Stuttgart-based Schlaich Bergermann and the MEP engineer was Canada’s WSP Group.
The practice was founded in 1965 by Meinhard von Gerkan and Volkwin Marg, and now has more than 300 employees in 13 offices around the world. In the past 10 years it has won notable commissions in India, Vietnam, as well as Beijing and Shanghai, and was the designer of Berlin’s Brandenburg Airport.
Qingdao is a city of 10 million people in Shandong Province. Best known in the West as the home of Tsingtao beer, it is one of China’s 10 most important cities and an important node on the Belt and Road system. In 2009, it was named China’s most liveable city by the Chinese Institute of City Competitiveness.