• Completion of Absolute Towers rewrites the records

    26 February 2013

    Photo Iwaan BanThere has been much debate amongst the local population in China as to implications of having so many of the country’s newly iconic buildings of a world-class nature being designed by teams led by international architects.

    Now a home-grown practice, MAD Architects, headquartered in Beijing, has rewritten the record books and not for a project built in the mainland, but or one built far away.

    Mississauga is a municipality of less than one million inhabitants which has developed autonomously from a far outer suburb of Toronto to become Canada’s sixth most populous city today.

    Photo Iwaan Ban atThe Absolute Towers were built after a limited international architectural competition launched by two private developers, Fernbrook Homes and Cityzen Development Group and famously won by MAD, the first mainland based architectural practice to win an international design competition of this type.

    The towers are part of an urban development scheme that includes five towers in all, three of which were designed by other architects. 

    The two towers designed by MAD have heights of 179.5 and 161 metres in height 56 and 50 storeys respectively. The facades of Absolute Towers are distinguished by continuous balconies on every floor and floor plates which rotate 0.5 degrees near the top and bottom and 1 to 4 degrees in the middle.  

    The load bearing walls are elongated and grow narrower in relation to the rotation of floor plans, while the balcony floor slabs are cantilevered.


    The 280-meter-tall Lumina Shanghai, developed by Henderson Land Group and designed by Gensler, is the tallest skyscraper in the Xuhui Riverside District.

    A sophisticated yet modern setting was derived by juxtaposition of Indochine-Vietnamese features and wood-fire inspired material palettes. Re-interpretation of the spatial order of a typical Indochine-Vietnamese mansion has been adopted to give hierarchy, layers and details to the space.


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