Tianjin Global Financial Center

Tianjin CTF Finance Center
Tianjin Global Financial Center
Tianjin CTF Finance Center

An expression of the city's cultural and economic prominence, this elegantly tapering tower marks a new central business district for Tianjin while introducing public realm improvements along the riverfront.

Project Facts
  • Status Construction Complete
  • Completion Year 2011
  • Size Site Area: 2,258 square meters Building Height: 336.90 meters Number of Stories: 72 Building Gross Area: 345,302 square meters
  • Awards
    2011, Award of Excellence: Landmark Structures Category, Structural Engineers Association of Northern California 2012, Best Office & Business Development: Gold, MIPIM Asia 2013, Architizer A+ Award: Office Building High Rise, Finalist, Architizer 2011, Skyscraper Award: 10th Place, Emporis 2014, Award of Excellence for Structural Systems Design, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) – Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI)
  • Collaborators
    East China Architectural Design & Research Institute (Ecadi) Edgett & Williams Swa Group Flack + Kurtz, Inc.
Project Facts
  • Status Construction Complete
  • Completion Year 2011
  • Size Site Area: 2,258 square meters Building Height: 336.90 meters Number of Stories: 72 Building Gross Area: 345,302 square meters
  • Awards
    2011, Award of Excellence: Landmark Structures Category, Structural Engineers Association of Northern California 2012, Best Office & Business Development: Gold, MIPIM Asia 2013, Architizer A+ Award: Office Building High Rise, Finalist, Architizer 2011, Skyscraper Award: 10th Place, Emporis 2014, Award of Excellence for Structural Systems Design, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) – Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI)
  • Collaborators
    East China Architectural Design & Research Institute (Ecadi) Edgett & Williams Swa Group Flack + Kurtz, Inc.

A symbol for Tianjin

Located in the historic heart of Tianjin, the Global Financial Center embodies the city’s international prominence as a gateway to China. Across the Hai River from the city’s high-speed rail and transit hub, the 337-meter tower provides a point of reference at the city center. The Center contains 240,000 square meters of office space, while an observation deck and sky restaurant provide 360-degree views above the city. At its base, a public garden establishes a formal entrance overlooking the Hai River.

Tianjin Global Financial Center
© Tim Griffith

The tower’s architectural expression combines the strength of a minimal form with an elegance of material and detail. The architectural concept of entasis — the curve given to a tapering column — influenced the tower’s curving shape.

Clad in a pleated glass exterior wall that recalls the structure and lightness of Chinese paper arts, the tower catches light and maximizes views. The pleated facade creates generous bay windows and allows the exterior unitized wall system to track the gently tapering geometry. These bay windows increase the amount of daylighting that penetrates the office space, while shading adjacent areas.

A symbol for Tianjin

Deep dive: Structural engineering

The tower’s unconventional design required the development of a highly innovative structural system. It incorporates steel plate shear walls, adapting the use of modern shipbuilding technologies to benefit from local knowledge and supports local skilled labor. Tianjin serves as North China’s leading center for the shipbuilding industry, which involves the manufacture and fabrication of steel plates on a large scale.

The tapered supertall tower features a remarkably high slenderness ratio in a region with high wind loads. Resisting imposed gravity and lateral loads, the columns of the tower consist of concrete-filled tubes: large diameter pipes fabricated from steel plates that are filled with high strength concrete, which result in minimum dimensions for the columns to resist vertical loads. The use of steel plate shear walls on the tower results in a steel material savings of 20 to 25 percent over more conventional structural steel systems.


Creating community in the heart of the city

Tianjin Global Financial Center helped create a new central business district adjacent to the historic core, providing downtown density and capitalizing on the new high-speed rail link to Beijing. Bringing a renewed prominence to the Hai River, the building extends the existing riverfront promenade and contributes to a compact and walkable downtown.

The tower is a critical element of the larger riverfront master plan, allowing for densification within the city and the creation of an open promenade and green spaces as a true amenity of the district. Along the river, the large, open space bordering the building is an inviting public destination. The project’s bold, arcing landscape provides a new experience of the Hai riverfront and creates opportunities for informal social exchange with spectacular views.

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