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.
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.