The Economic Sense of Mixed-Use Tall Towers

Brian Ringley
Design Technology Platform Specialist
Woods Bagot, New York City



Iconic tall towers often require non-standard forms to convey their messages, but ambitious geometry presents technical challenges and economic inefficiencies. The Chongqing Tower’s exterior massing of doubly-curved facades was designed to provide a variety of silhouettes from different vantages, symbolizing Chongqing as a city of contrasts. Computational modeling was utilized to rationalize the facades into intersecting tori in order to economically deliver the complex massing. Woods Bagot’s Design Technology Team optimized two major issues from the tower’s geometry: the variance in the degree of faceting between adjacent panels in the horizontal plane between floors, and the distortion of a panel’s shape increasing with its distance from the facades centerline. By virtue of the tower’s height of 431 meters, these distortions can be accommodated with cold-bent glazing to guarantee the tower’s form while ensuring it meets the performance criteria required to economize operating costs over the tower’s lifespan.

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