The Haikou-Tower - Cultural Identities and Context

Martin Henn
Partner, Design Director
HENN, Berlin



When designing the “Haikou Towers,” our aim was to go beyond an architecture of mere function or form, but to construct an architecture of meaning. We tried to integrate all defining parameters of the design (context, program, structure, circulation) in a way that they would be mutually dependent and concurrently provide a sense of meaning. Projects often happen at such great speed and scale that we are confronted with a green field condition. In China, entire CBDs often mark the starting point of new urban developments. The challenge here is to bridge the gap between rich ancient, local cultures and the new, contemporary identities of the place and their people. In our eyes architecture is a vehicle to create identity. We are convinced that architecture should take on a political, social and cultural responsibility. Form should hereby be a strategy against the uniform. It should represent place rather than object.

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