Architects Design “99 Islands in the Sky” Floating in Mid-Air Over Qianhai Bay

Dusk View of Sou Fujimoto's Proposal for Qianhai's New City Center Landmark

This tower proposal by Sou Fujimoto Architects imagines 99 incredible floating islands that soar about 880 feet above the water. The design was completed as part of Qianhai’s New City Center Landmark competition, an invitation-based competition for a new monument on Shenzhen’s Qianhai Bay. This new project would celebrate Shenzhen and the Qianhai district’s recent rapid urban development.

Depending on how the project is viewed, the designers explain, it acts as both a massive tower and as a series of connected islands. This hybrid approach is part of the design firm’s study of what a tower looks like. “Being one and many simultaneously, it symbolizes the future of societies in the age of diversity,” describes Sou Fujimoto Architects.

Aerial View of Sou Fujimoto's Proposal for Qianhai's New City Center Landmark

So how exactly would these floating islands stay afloat in mid-air? According to the designers, a large central core supports the tower while massive tension cables transfer the rest of the load. This means that the structural elements add to the beautiful effect of water falling from the tower into the bay.

The effect of falling water meets another major consideration of the architects: “how can a tower evolve while continuing to attract attention, as the Eiffel Tower does?” This landmark certainly attracts attention. It also includes exhibition space, a restaurant, a café, and a viewing platform.

Since the judges did not select a first-place winner for the competition, Sou Fujimoto Architects’ second-place design is the highest-ranking proposal for the new monument.

Sou Fujimoto imagines a fantastical tower with islands in the sky for Qianhai's New Civic Center Landmark competition.

Interior View of Sou Fujimoto's Proposal for Qianhai's New City Center LandmarkInterior View of Sou Fujimoto's Proposal for Qianhai's New City Center LandmarkNight View of Sou Fujimoto's Proposal for Qianhai's New City Center LandmarkDay View of Sou Fujimoto's Proposal for Qianhai's New City Center LandmarkInterior View of Sou Fujimoto's Proposal for Qianhai's New City Center LandmarkInterior View of Sou Fujimoto's Proposal for Qianhai's New City Center Landmark

Sou Fujimoto Architects: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Sou Fujimoto Architects. Per the architect's request, please do not reprint / repost this article.

Related Articles:

China Is Getting a Futuristic Cultural Center That Looks Like a Giant Floating Cloud

Dynamic Tower Will Be Powered by the Wind to Glow in Silicon Valley At Night

Architects Unveil a Massive Plan for Chinese City That’s Dedicated To Science and Tech

Shenzhen’s New Natural History Museum Mimics the Flow of the Nearby River

Samantha Pires

Sam Pires is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She is also a freelance architectural designer. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from NJIT and is currently earning a Master in Architecture II from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Sam has design experience at multiple renowned architecture firms such as Gensler and Bjarke Ingels Group. She believes architecture should be more accessible to everyone and uses writing to tell unexpected stories about the built environment. You can connect with her online at @sampir.fi.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.

Sponsored Content

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]