Stretching 1,765 feet into the sky, CITIC Tower has become the tallest building in Beijing. The tower draws inspiration from the form of the “zun,” a ritual vessel originating in Bronze Age China.
The tower abstracts and refines the zun’s vase-like form, balancing composition and articulation with structural requirements and leasing depth needs. The building is square with rounded corners with its width changing vertically from a 78-meter-wide base, to a 54-meter-wide waist, and finally to a 69-meter-wide top.
“We abstracted the zun’s elegant form and focused on its gradual transformation, applying this motif across immense scales: from the tower’s overall massing, all the way down to its curtain wall, entry vestibule, and interior detailing,” said Li Lei, Design Director, KPF, in a release.
The lobby’s upward curve mirrors the tower’s outward drape in the opposite direction and an interior canopy features custom aluminum ribbing that follows its curvature and echoes the facade expression. KPF’s goal with the design was to create a centerpiece for Beijing’s Central Business District that elicits harmony with the historic capital while also creating aspirational and contemporary architecture.
The tower comprises the CITIC Group and CITIC Bank headquarters, tenant-occupied office spaces, and a multipurpose business center.