Austrian architecture firm Coop Himmelb(l)au recently won first prize in a competition to design a shimmering skyscraper that will house the new headquarters of the China Insurance Group. The 49 story tower will rise over the central business district of Shenzhen, a thriving economic center on China’s southern shore. The flowing outer skin of the building will be lined with photovoltaic cells and will feature mechanisms to increase wind resistance, shade the interiors from sunlight, provide natural ventilation, and display multimedia banners.
The “Shenzhen 4 Tower in 1” Competition featured a jury chaired by Mr. Arata Isozaki that considered entries from other big names in architecture like Steven Holl, MVRDV and more. Inside the tower, functions will be separated in three sections - business offices at the top, public areas on the bottom floors and a central zone for semi-public functions likes conferences, business meetings and gardens. The passively designed outer skin of the structure will help regulate inside climate and be powered in part by solar and wind energy.