Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre, Guangzhou
Featured October 2016
Other Featured Tall Buildings

Completion Date:
October 2016

530 m (1,739 ft)




398,000 sq m (4,284,036 sq ft)

Primary Function:

Hotel / Residential / Office

Chow Tai Fook Enterprises; New World Development Company Limited

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (design); Guangzhou Design Institute (architect of record) Leigh & Orange (architect of record)
Structural Engineers:

Arup (design); Leslie E. Robertson Associates (peer review)
MEP Engineers:

WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff (design)
Main Contractor:
China State Construction Engineering Corporation
Other Consultants:
ALT Limited (façade); Arup (fire, geotechnical, security); BMT Fluid Mechanics Ltd. (wind); Campbell Shillinglaw Lau Ltd (acoustics); Isometrix Lighting + Design (lighting); Lighting Planners Associates (lighting); MVA Transportation, Planning & Management Consultants (traffic); P Landscape Co (landscape); Perception Design (HK) Ltd (interiors); Rider Levett Bucknall (cost); RWDI (wind) Super Potato (interiors); WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff (LEED); Yabu Pushelberg (interiors)

Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre is a mixed-use tower located across from Guangzhou International Finance Center and Canton Tower. The project is adjacent to a large central park and a subterranean retail concourse with transportation interchanges, integrating the project into the city and the wider region.
Contextual view of the tower under construction in December 2014.  Photo by John Chu via KPF
The design of Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre is derived from the efficient synthesis of its multiple uses. Its form is sculpted at four major transition points: office to residential, residential to hotel, hotel to crown, and crown to sky. Instead of tapering to accommodate the smaller floor plates required for different programs, the tower steps back at four angled parapets. These four setbacks allow for lush sky terraces and dramatic skylights.
Careful attention was paid to the material selection for the tower. Thus, a series of subtle terra cotta mullions line the tower’s elevations. This material played a very important role in both Eastern and Western history, and is also beneficial from an environmental standpoint. The embodied energy of terra cotta is far less than aluminum, glass, or steel. It is self-cleaning and corrosion-resistant. Moreover, it can be produced in many locations in China, reducing the environmental impact of shipping. These terra cotta mullions were designed to project out from the glass on an angle to provide shading on the exterior.
Façade detail

The tower was constructed with a structural system composed of a central core and eight perimeter mega columns linked with a series of the outriggers and belt trusses spread throughout the overall height of the building.  The application of which was an unconventional approach in seismically active areas of China often requiring additional redundancy in structural design, potentially serving as a precedent for future supertall building concepts.

Building section

Mega column under construction, photo by Terri Meyer Boake

Rendering of the tower's top

The building employs a number of energy efficient tools to reduce its environmental footprint. In addition to its strong multi-level connections to public transportation, the use of high-efficiency chillers and heat recovery from the water-cooled chiller condensers all contribute to the building’s sustainability.
Related Links
CTBUH Skyscraper Center Profile:
Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre
The CTBUH would like to thank Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates for their assistance with this article.