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büro ole scheeren envisions 350m tall octagonal tower in nanjing, china

‘nanjing nexus’ by büro ole scheeren: Merging past + future 


Büro Ole Scheeren has recently won an international design competition inviting participants to envision the Nanjing Jiangbei New Financial Center in China. Former capital of the South, Nanjing is a bustling trading center located on the shores of the Yangze River and holds a pivotal position within the Yangze River Economic Belt. The new Jiangbei District will complement its historic center as a contemporary urban hub merging culture, tradition, identity, ecology, and nature with the spirit of innovation. The practice’s mixed-use and 350m tall ‘Nanjing Nexus’ was chosen as the winning scheme by an international jury.


Imagined as an octagonal super-tall structure with 3D-textured facades and ‘green’ offsets, the proposal hopes to connect the city’s past with the challenges and expectations of its future urban identity. 

büro ole scheeren envisions 350m tall octagonal tower in nanjing, china
all images © Büro Ole Scheeren



an octagonal super-tall structure with vertical gardens 


The architectural form of ‘Nanjing Nexus’ departs from the typical rectangular tower archetype by trimming its shaft into an octagon and carving each facet into a concave bay, harnessing the energy of the context and embracing the surrounding city. The eight bays are horizontally split and vertically shifted to create offsets and form a skyline, with large ‘Urban Windows’ accommodating diverse programs and connecting the building to the city. Overall, Ole Scheeren (see more here) creates a dialogue between the small scale of a historic village and the largeness of the vertical, contemporary city. 


Abundant vegetation further transforms the ‘Urban Windows’ into vertical gardens, a contemporary interpretation of the garden culture and pavilions of the Jiangsu province. The integration of specific landscape typologies in the tower serves sustainability strategies on multiple levels: ecological, social, and historical.

büro ole scheeren envisions 350m tall octagonal tower in nanjing, china



Nanjing Nexus’ is a building that explores how contemporary architecture can absorb and amplify historical context and meaning by fusing the qualities of the past with the requirements of a future-oriented workspace within the verticality of a super-tall office tower. The convergence of past and present is not merely about formal gestures – it is about creating actual experiences and spaces with specific emotive and experiential qualities,’ shares Ole Scheeren, principal of Büro-OS.

büro ole scheeren envisions 350m tall octagonal tower in nanjing, china




solar-powered, 3D-textured, highly functional 


Besides its aesthetic value, the octagonal form also creates highly efficient floor plans and structured programming. Office spaces are zoned into four standardized rectangular ‘Work Clusters’, complemented by four diagonally rotated and interactive ‘Innovation Bays’. At the top of the tower, a hotel offers multi-directional views and a spectacular roof terrace with a pool deck, restaurant, and gardens – creating a shared space 350 meters above the city.Meanwhile, the concave surfaces of the 3D-textured facade optimize the building’s solar performance and reduce structural wind loads while reflecting light in reminiscence of the sparkles and ripples of the Yangtze River.


According to Ole Scheeren, ‘Nanjing Nexus’ presents an elegantly simple, economical, and adaptable design that can be further translated to multiple scales and functions. Its immediate neighbor, a 100-meter-tall satellite tower, reveals a small-scale version of itself. Together, they form a new landmark in Jiangbei’s future district.



büro ole scheeren envisions 350m tall octagonal tower in nanjing, china  büro ole scheeren envisions 350m tall octagonal tower in nanjing, china      






project info:


name: Nanjing Nexus

location: Nanjing, China 

architecture: Büro Ole Scheeren

main tower height: 350 meters

satellite tower height: 100 meters 

renderings: Büro Ole Scheeren


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