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Ethereal Tower with 99 Floating Islands Designed For Shenzhen, China

Sou Fujimoto's new design resembles "a cloud of spray" made of metals.

Sou Fujimoto Architects has revealed the designs for a massive floating tower on the bay of Shenzhen's Qianhaiwan district after a competition was held to design a landmark tower in the region that has lately experienced enormous urban and architectural developments, per Yanko Design.

The judges of the New City Center Landmark competition chose not to award a "First Prize," instead positioning the second place with the top rank, which was won by Sou Fujimoto Architects for their floating water tower which was designed to address the questions of  "What does a new ‘tower’ mean in the 21st Century?" and "How can a tower evolve while continuing to attract attention, as the Eiffel tower does?"

Ethereal Tower with 99 Floating Islands Designed For Shenzhen, China
Source: Sou Fujimoto Architects

The proposed tower is 880 feet (268 meters) tall and is made up of 99 individual tower-like pieces that are joined by a strong horizontal plane in the top section and gradually fade away as they descend, giving the impression that they are floating in the air.

It is simultaneously a single tower and a collection of towers, symbolizing the "future of societies in an age of diversity."

Ethereal Tower with 99 Floating Islands Designed For Shenzhen, China
Source: Sou Fujimoto Architects

The tower is designed to be mostly made of steel, carbon fiber, Kevlar Rope, and concrete, with a peripherally located steel truss system with Kevlar tension cables maintaining the cores' balance.

Ethereal Tower with 99 Floating Islands Designed For Shenzhen, China
Source: Sou Fujimoto Architects

A centralized core serves as the basis for the whole tower, which is kept together by outlying tension cables that resemble water flowing down to the bay.

A mirrored inverted frozen geyser houses an observation deck, exhibition area, restaurant, and cafe within the cables.

Ethereal Tower with 99 Floating Islands Designed For Shenzhen, China
Source: Sou Fujimoto Architects

The top deck is used for exhibitions, appealing to both visitors and locals as a social center where beautiful views of the city and the bay from 880 feet (268 meters) above sea level can be viewed all around.  

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Combining structurally sound and unadorned building material with a microcosm of our intricate world, Sou Fujimoto Architects' design is rather perfect for the cityscape of a constantly evolving city. This is not the only structure that enables a look into the future of urban living and architecture, though. Again in China, a Danish architecture studio called BIG released designs for a building called the "O-Tower" just last month. The structure, with its mind-bending infinity-loop-shaped design that connects "ground to sky in a continuous loop of collaboration," is worth taking a look.

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