Observation Tower in Liyang
Size of project: 1482 sqm China has over 30,000 kilometers of high-speed railroad, and nearly 70% of the length is parallel to local highway. How should we develop the narrow enclave space between the two? It has become a planning problem for local government and a design challenge for us. In 2022, the city of Liyang decided to construct 12 observation towers in the current wasteland along its 39-killometer railroad, building public spaces for its citizen and landmarks to attract tourists. The city commissioned us to design one of them. Instead of conforming to the conventional model of a “needle” tower, we gave the project a little bit more love and designed a “globe” observation tower. Its spherical form, 30 meters in diameter, will give a strong visual impact to any people passing by in a high-speed train. Its giant interior not only provides a platform to look out, but also defines a magical event space for local citizens to congregate and contemplate. With accessibility in mind, we chose ramp over staircase. The red spiral ramp is carried to the top of the tower bringing people upwards in a continuous motion. The design is inspired by the traditional “Double Fish” Yin-yang symbol. Two halves of the sphere come together, forming a dynamic yet balanced whole. The structure of the tower, made entirely of curved steel trusses and space frames, follows its geometric logic. The project is under construction and expected to open to public by Oct.1 2022.