- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 23 Oct 2017
In February 2017, London-based architects Tonkin Liu revealed their competition-winning proposal for a new Trade Centre in Zhengzhou, east-central China.
Cradle Towers comprises five towers that swoop out of a ring-shaped podium. The design is inspired by the nearby Songshan mountain range, and is intended to celebrate the city’s origins in a high-tech way.
The complex is a mixed-use development of residential, offices and hotels. Vertical courtyards bring natural daylight into the deep plan at the base of the towers and establish vertical gardens up their inside faces.
At the micro-scale the glass façades are fitted with a responsive skin that accommodates the conflicting requirements of programme, solar shading, and privacy. At a macro-scale it has a gradation upwards from dark to light, establishing the podium as a heavy mass and blending the lantern-like tips of the towers with the sky.
A fluid landscape spills out of the cradle and under the lifted podium ring, connecting the vast inner courtyard to the wider city sprawling beyond. At the peak of each tower a roof-top glass house simultaneously screens the mechanical plant and ‘greens’ the skyline.
Images and content courtesy of Tonkin Liu.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Room data sheets are used to communicate the client’s requirements for each room on a project.
Earth's resources being consumed in ever greater volumes as symbolic 'overshoot' day moves forward again.
Full-scale review of fire safety guidance announced for the autumn.
The Isle of Man’s naturally-occurring materials and distinctive building techniques.
BRE partner with Global GreenTag to develop an Ethical Labour Sourcing Standard for Australia.
The Chartered Quality Institute explain the pathway to success for organisations implementing management systems.
An introductory article looking at where a duty of care can arise in the construction industry.
House of Lords committee encourages the use of off-site manufacturing in new report.
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can go some way to show the impact of new buildings on their surroundings.
The shortlist for the 2018 prize for the UK's best new building is revealed.