- 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
The complex situation where events occur at the same time.
How can Latin America and the Caribbean unlock the digital potential of their new and existing built environment?
CIOB publish a new code of estimating practice.
These relate to a programme where each activity is allocated a price and interim payments made against completion.
Police testing finds that flat door could only withstand fire for half its designed time.
Have a look at these images from a new photography book of buildings being reclaimed by nature.
What does the phrase 'demised premises' mean? Find out here in our introductory article.
New good practice guidance looks at the best way to deliver multi-functional solar car parks.
Philip Hammond suggests the public finances have reached a turning point.
The fifth annual ICE-Topcon lecture looked at how to balance smart technology and security.
Support grows for the Construction (Retention Deposit Schemes) Bill.