China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City – Knowledge Tower | DP Architects Pte Ltd | World Design Awards 2023

DP Architects Pte Ltd: Winner of World Design Awards 2023. Located on the north bank of Jiulong Lake, China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City (CSGKC) Knowledge Tower is a 390,000 sqm super high-rise mixed-development project consisting Grade-A offices, 5-star hotel and retail programs. A symbol of continued cooperation between the cities of Guangzhou and Singapore, the 300m tower is first of a series of developments within a new economic development district. Despite the comparatively small site, we approached the design with sensitivity to create an innovative super high-rise development for future vertical communities, providing inhabitants with more possibilities for community activities, supported by creative public spaces within the tower.

The clover-shape plan of the tower rises up into a sculpted form consisting three distinct yet connect towers. The three towers firmly support one another, embracing a central LIFESPINE system of community atria that connect communities and inspire mutual exchanges. Addressing unique interfaces culminating at the site and at the same time maximizing views and natural lighting for all office spaces, this tripartite form departs from the common planning of office towers, where circulatory and services core are traditionally located in the middle. Instead, the resulting multi-core set-up proves to be as efficient, programmatically and structurally.

The sustainability-driven as well as human-centric significance of the project sets a benchmark for future super high-rise developments in Guangzhou, and the larger context of China.

  1. Form and Urban Interfaces: Efficiency, Value and Community:

The design brief of Knowledge Tower calls for a large developmental volume with an assigned height limit, where the use of a conventional and regular single tower plan will result in deep office spaces and low leasing efficiency. As we breakdown the massing to test leasing efficiencies, total building façade area also increases to result in increased solar heat gain. Balancing usage needs and energy efficiencies, we reimagine the tower plan, and reshape it to create continuous office spaces with appropriate depths, stringed around efficient cores and internalised community atrium spaces, maximizing unblocked views into the lake whilst controlling total façade area. The resulting clover shape tower plan is a powerful motif that combined maximized efficiency and value, and possibilities for a participatory community.

  1. LIFESPINE: A Vertical System of Biophilic Community Space

The five large atria and the roof garden vertically extend urban green spaces through the tower to form The LIFESPINE, a vertical system of biophilic gardens that serve five clusters of working communities. Specially themed with cultural references from China and Singapore, with built-in features for different activity needs, the five atria in The LIFESPINE celebrate co-generative green spaces and urban community living.

  1. Structural Stability and Operational Efficiency

The building is constructed with concrete core steel columns, steel beams, reinforced floor slab and steel tube reinforced concrete shear wall, significantly reducing concrete usage and increases construction efficiency. To minimize core area and improve operational efficiency, this project combines high-speed shuttle lifts with standard passenger lifts, the latter includes a system of 45 lift cars planned within 18 lift cores.

  1. Designed for User Experience and Well-being

The clover-shape tower plan revolves around naturally lit and ventilated shared atrium spaces, externalized interior space acting as elevated neighhourhood squares, providing sky inhabitants with easily accessible community gardens and create interesting interfaces for daily commute, and open multiple possibilities for public activities within a high-rise setting.

­An extensive IoT system is employed to take advantage of this spatial structure, with AI face recognition controls that can re-distribute complex user groups and logistics in times of need, in our post-pandemic era. IoT coordinated shared workspace provide tower inhabitants with convenient alternative work settings as needed. Office units are also separated via lightweight partition walls that reduces super-imposed loads and increases construction and operational efficiency, allowing for flexible leasing according to tenants’ requirements and supports multiple programmatic configurations within the open office plan.

The building facade uses Low-E coating triple-glazed glass panels with Visible Light Transmittance index (VLT) larger that 0.4 and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) 20% better than stipulated level, allowing sufficient natural light to penetrate into office spaces at the same time controlling interior heat gain, further supported by external vertical shadings. The natural ventilation system embedded in the horizontal mullions facilitates fresh air exchange of 70% of the total office area twice every 2 hours, largely improving interior well-being. Office units are separated via lightweight partition walls that reduces super-imposed loads and increases construction and operational efficiency, allowing for flexible leasing according to tenants’ requirements and supports multiple programmatic configurations within the open office plan.

Project Details
DP Architects Pte Ltd

DP Architects Pte Ltd

Project Name
China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City – Knowledge Tower

World Design Awards Category
High Rise Architecture Concept

Project Location

Teoh Hai Pin, Niew Pey Ran, Goh Yong Qin, Wang Jian, Lu Jiaping, Wang Liyi, Jia Jun, Zheng Yi, Zhu Yuelin, Li Can, Peng Sirou, Zuo Jiali, Yufang Ruodi


Photography ©Credit
©China Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City JV Company

DP Architects is a leading multidisciplinary design practice in Asia with staff in 18 global offices strategically-linked from Shanghai to London, and 8 specialist companies providing a range of services from architecture and urban planning to engineering, sustainable design, interior, façade and landscape design. Founded in 1967, having built a deep portfolio of works spanning across 77 countries, the group of companies functions as One Global Studio, harnessing the collective experience and knowledge of its people, resources and data to deliver fully-coordinated, innovative and well-calibrated design solutions at all scales, contributing to a city’s long-term sustainability and socio-economic health.