KPF-designed CITIC tower opens as beijing's tallest building

KPF-designed CITIC tower opens as beijing's tallest building

standing at a total height of 528 meters (1,732 feet), ‘CITIC tower’ has opened as the tallest building in beijing, the fourth tallest in china, and the eighth tallest worldwide. designed by kohn pedersen fox associates (KPF), the shape of the skyscraper draws inspiration from the ‘zun’, a ritual vessel originating in bronze age china. the tower abstracts and refines the zun’s vase-like form, with a 69-meter-wide crown, a 54-meter-wide ‘waist’, and a 78-meter-wide base. ‘KPF’s goal for CITIC tower was to create a centerpiece for the new CBD that would elicit harmony with the historic capital while proposing aspirational and contemporary architecture,’ says li lei, design director, KPF.

all images © H.G. esch



at ground level, the lobby’s distinct upward curve mirrors the tower’s fluted, outward drape in the opposite direction. meanwhile, the interior canopy features bespoke aluminum ribbing that follows its curvature and echoes the expression of the tower’s façade. ‘the curtain wall, a light and delicate layer, folds out at the base and signals the building’s various entry points,’ explains robert whitlock, design principal at KPF. ‘it appears to float above the ground plane, evoking the human scale and activity that occurs at its base and ultimately promoting public engagement with the architecture and the district on a whole.’



the development anchors the northern end of beijing’s CBD, forming a backdrop to the site’s adjacent public park. the tower also connects to a vast underground transportation network, linking together a pedestrian passageway system, a B2-level roadway, and four subway lines across three stations. the tower contains the headquarters of CITIC group and CITIC bank, as well as tenant-occupied office spaces, and a multipurpose business center. CITIC tower joins KPF’s portfolio of skyscrapers, which includes five of the 11 tallest buildings in the world.


video © KPF / H.G. esch



project info:


name: CITIC tower
location: beijing, china
architect: kohn pedersen fox associates (KPF)
status: complete
photography: H.G. esch

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