Steel superstructure tower with inclined cantilever
The Pazhou masterplan for Guangzhou proposes an array of developments consisting of the inevitable podium and tower configuration. The Guangdong Baosteel Building, 140 metres tall, will be the shortest building in the masterplan, yet it can be distinctive by defying the inevitable. With a cantilever at an inclination of 32 degrees - creating a sunken courtyard as an alternative to the podium - the building would be the world's most inclined tower, an ambitious manifestation of the client's product. more..

Guangdong Baosteel Building would provide 84,333 m² of Grade A office space, housing the Baosteel Guangdong Executive offices, offices for rent, staff amenities, a conference centre and executive club. Located on the waterfront next to a park and the old Pearl River Beer factory, the tower changes its vertical trajectory at mid-level, jutting outwards the Pearl River. The dramatic cantilever, and its unprecedented inclination, is achieved through the use of steel as a structural skin.

The Baosteel Building derives its solidity not through form but from its material. As the superstructure material, steel is ideal: light weight, it enables long spans; flexible, it can deal with complex geometry; robust, it does not have creep or shrinkage issues. At the bottom of the tower, the steel frame superstructure connects with a reinforced concrete basement structure and foundations. The coordination between internal and external structures allows the entire building to stretch toward the river while maintaining an open ground level for the public.

The structural skin is comprised of a grill of vertical columns and horizontal beam sections. The vierendeel truss system allows unobstructed openings free of diagonal members, accentuating the strength and capabilities of steel. The window frames are of varying sizes dictated by the axial force diagram of the structural façade; glazing is set back at a different position on each facade to enhance the building's shading and solar gain performances.

Guangdong Baosteel Building is straightforward with a twist: from the side, the building is a zig-zag; from the front, it appears as a simple extrusion; when one approaches, the building appears to hover over a void. Guangdong Baosteel Building is a paradox: the balancing act of strength and elegance.


Project: Guangdong Baosteel Headquarters and Office Tower

Status: Competition

Client: Guangdong Iron and Steel Group Co., Ltd. (Baosteel Group Corporation)

Location: Guangzhou, China

Site: 28,111m² at the waterfront in the Guangzhou Pazhou area masterplan

Program: Total 84,333 m²: Baosteel Guangdong offices, leased offices, conference centre, staff amenities, executive club

Height: 140 m


Partners-in-charge: Rem Koolhaas, David Gianotten

Project Architect: Betty Ng

Competition team: Kevin Chan (BD), Tim Cheung, Vanessa Chik, Jocelyn Chiu (Translation), Daniel Hui, Erick Kristanto, Anthony Lam, Kwan Ho Li, Roberto Requejo; with Katja Lam, Arthas Qian, Jue Qiu, Ricky Suen, Stella Tong, Rebecca Wang


Structure, Façade, MEP, Fire, Vertical Transportation, Building Physics, Security, Traffic and Drainage: ARUP (Alfred Fong, Goman Ho, Xin Jin, Tao Li, Jun Liao, Michael Liu, Polly Mok, Mathew Morley, Trevor Ng, Jeff Ng, Chas Pope, Damian Ryan, Justin Stolze, Robin Wilkinson, Kelvin Wong, Alba Xu)

Landscape: SWA (Sean O'Malley, Kevin Slawson, Xiao Zheng, Stephen Rydzon, Pavel Petrov)

Local Architect: SADI (Wu Chao)

Cost Calculation: Rider Levett Bucknall

Models: RJ Models

Images: OMA & ROBOTA

Animation: OMA & Pinchuang Digital