Zhejiang Gate Towers in Hangzhou, Chinese High-Rise Architecture, Images

Zhejiang Gate Towers Hangzhou

Shimao Property Group Development: Building in China – design by LAVA – Laboratory for Visionary Architecture

14 Jun 2016

Zhejiang Gate Towers in Hangzhou

Design: LAVA – Laboratory for Visionary Architecture

Location: Hangzhou, China

Zhejiang Gate Towers

LAVA’s Zhejiang Gate Towers are an iconic entrance to the city of Hangzhou. The design of the two towers is based on the Chinese characters for ‘gate’, and they feature a shimmering façade of fins.

Zhejiang Gate Towers

LAVA was commissioned by Shimao (Hangzhou) in 2014 to masterplan the
mixed-use development, which consists of five buildings housing offices,
residential, and retail. LAVA’s masterplan features fluid building masses,
improved positioning of the towers from different viewing directions, logical
pedestrian movement and the removal of cars from the complex.

Zhejiang Gate Towers

Tobias Wallisser, director of LAVA said: “The high-rise towers are an
interpretation of the Chinese characters meaning ‘gate’ or entrance to a city.
The development is located at a major interchange into the city so we
wanted to create an iconic gateway to Hangzhou. Utilising our extensive view
studies we positioned the tower ensemble so it is recognisable as a twin
structure, a gate, from both near and far.”

Zhejiang Gate Towers

LAVA articulated the façade as two groups of long vertical fins wrapped
around the buildings. Fluid lines create zones within the tower elevations,
whilst different colours of glass and varying depths of vertical fin elements
generate refracted light effects animating the façade.

Zhejiang Gate Towers

Key design elements include:

1. Towers designed as an entity with special emphasis on facing sides
2. Façade materialisation uses varying transparency, reflectiveness and
3. Special articulation at the top of the towers – copper colour elements
with a gradient towards the top.

Zhejiang Gate Towers

Added Wallisser: “The towers combine fluid, curvaceous shapes with hard
edges. The simple outer shape and the special articulation across both
towers, the fluid lines, create different appearances from alternative

Zhejiang Gate Towers

Designed to fulfill LEED Gold certification standard, the self-shading
aluminum fins and high-performance glass reduce both glare and solar heat
gain. Together with the structural engineers, the towers were designed using
eight super-columns, which reduced the structural system by about 30% in
comparison to a traditional scheme.

Zhejiang Gate Towers

“This is the first high-rise built using LAVA’s extensive research into
parametric facades over many years. LAVA has previously advised on
geometric systems to clients such as Schüco (for their “parametric freedom
concept”). We proposed long vertical fins, also featured in our 2008
Schumacher Tower concept, as an alternative to a modular system. The
towers are a further development of this geometric approach and we are
excited to see the fruit of this research.”

Zhejiang Gate Towers

A third 90m tall building and two pavilions are placed around the central
public space. The volume of the third tower structure was designed for
flexible use for offices or housing, and optimises the ration of facade surface
and volume contained. A large roof garden is oriented in the direction of a
future development to the south of the towers.

Zhejiang Gate Towers

A canopy connects the two towers at the base, and a fluid landscape
connects all five buildings, creating seamless pedestrian movement. The carfree
centre can be experienced as a green park sheltered from the
surrounding ring roads. At ground level all structures provide retail space.
The roofs of the pavilions are articulated as a continuation of the landscape

Zhejiang Gate Towers

The towers demonstrate LAVA’s approach to sustainable design: ‘More with
Less’: a more beautiful design based on a more efficient structure.
Construction of the pavilions started last year, and the twin towers, the
tallest structures in Hangzhou, will commence in 2017.

Zhejiang Gate Towers


LAVA was founded in 2007 by directors Chris Bosse, Tobias Wallisser, and
Alexander Rieck. LAVA recently completed a company showroom in
Eindhoven; and currently has under construction a new university master
plan and headquarters in Riyadh, an airport shopping precinct in Frankfurt, a
new youth sports hostel in Bayreuth and a mixed-use development in Berlin.
LAVA merges future technologies with the patterns of organisation found in
nature to build a smarter, friendlier, more socially and environmentally
responsible future.

Zhejiang Gate Towers

Zhejiang Gate Towers

LAVA combines digital workflow, nature’s structural principles and the latest
digital fabrication technologies tobuild MORE WITH LESS: more (architecture)
with less (material/energy/time/cost).

Zhejiang Gate Towers

Zhejiang Gate Towers

Ripple Hotel in Hangzhou – Building Information

ARCHITECT: LAVA – Laboratory for Visionary Architecture
Chris Bosse, Tobias Wallisser, Alexander Rieck
www.l-a-v-a.net Stuttgart – Sydney – Berlin
PROJECT: Zhejiang Gate Towers
CLIENT: Shimao Property Group
LOCATION: Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China
STATUS: Construction started in 2015, the towers will commence in 2017,
completion due 2019
SIZE: Two towers 280m high, each 125,000 m2; Total area: 370,000 m2

Zhejiang Gate Towers

Zhejiang Gate Towers

LAVA: Tobias Wallisser, Chris Bosse, Alexander Rieck
Project team: Christian Tschersich (PL), Tommy Joo, Elvira Perfetto, Jan
Kozerski, Jing Xi Zhang, Nicola Schunter, GüleyAlagöz, MikolayScibisz, Yu
Chun Tsai, Melanie Quessel
Architectural Design: SOL
Executive Architect: ZIAD (Zhejiang Architecture Design Institute)
Structure: LERA
Landscape: PubangPela
Façade consultant: Schmidlin Façade Consultancy

Zhejiang Gate Towers

Zhejiang Gate Towers Hangzhou images / information received from LAVA 140616

LAVA – Laboratory for Visionary Architecture

Location:Hangzhou, China

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