• Hyperbolic Curtain Wall Twists in the Chongqing Light

    31 January 2023

    The 180m tall Chongqing Gaoke Group Ltd Office, designed by Aedas, was completed in 2022. The tower utilises a simple elegant formwhich creates the twisting shape of tower to form expressive double-curved surfaces on the building façades. Vertical lines accentuate the minimalistic form and through the effect of reflection and refraction from the glass create a design statement that celebrates light as the major tool to define architecture.


    To achieve a very smooth transition of the glass façade, the design uses double-curved cold form glass instead of the usual or more common faceted method. The maximum twisting angle is up to 8.8 degrees per floor surpassing the existing super high-rise tower in the world by nearly 1.5 times (CTBUH Journal, 2016 Issue 3). It is expected to be one of “The Most Twisting Towers in the world”.

    Innovative façade technology from façade engineer RFR empowers the precise execution of such challenging design. The area of the hyperbolic curtain wall is about 8,000 square metres, and the number of hyperbolic curtain wall panels is as many as 1,709.


    The unique twisting results in a high double-curvature ratio, which poses a major challenge for the overall façade system. Aedas and RFR joined hands to leverage the cold bend glass technique and BIM for this complex geometric façade. Such innovation was to adapt to the changing geometric parameters and dimensions while fulfilling requirements on safety, waterproof and thermal performance. It also ensures a consistent façade construction in line with BIM simulations.

    The system of cold bend glass on the 3D frame façade component enables a maximum of 86mm in glass deviation between floors, realising a record-breaking design in China. From overall geometric analysis, façade component modelling and clash-checking, LOD400 detail component modelling, automotive data exporting and auditing, 3D BIM has been utilised throughout the entire façade design process. Through value engineering, a portion of the hyperbolic glass with flat glass is successfully replaced, achieving savings in construction costs.

    The Twist

    The architectural form uses twisted curved glass, such that each glass panel is different in size and degree of twist. With a unique twisted façade and integration with landscape, the view of the tower varies from different angles.

    Global Design Principal , Ken Wai, said: “The façade is not only an outlook expression, but also a way of protection that sculpts interior spaces. The delicate design has been articulated for the top of the tower, by conveying the conceptual “Valley of Light” through the transparent glass façade and lighting, to make a coherent statement. Such a concept differentiates the crown of this tower from other office spaces. The plant room, BMU and other facilities are centralised inside the “Valley” on the top of the building, achieving functional unity without undermining the visual aesthetics.”

    “As an open public space, the tower has all the credits to be a city icon, especially the significant twisting of the façade, which is remarkable. As for the master layout, we have put thorough consideration to the surrounding environment and the building volume. Standing at the north of Xingfu Plaza, the 61,368 square metre project is located in Jiangbei District of Chongqing. The surrounding environment has already been developed in a spacious plot, and one big challenge for the designer was to interpret a planning concept of “solar”, into an iconic landmark well-integrated in the existing community context.” Inspired by the dancing aurora, the design team introduced an impressive façade design through bottom-to-top connections between the northern and eastern sides. The ‘dance of light’ is characterised by the juxtaposition of rectilinear forms and tower façades with double curves. Such curvaceous façade expression offers ever-changing perspectives around the development. When the sun rises, the curved façade shines, and the tower becomes the building of light.


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