moshe safdie: chongqing chaotianmen
moshe safdie: chongqing chaotianmen moshe safdie: chongqing chaotianmen
dec 02, 2011

moshe safdie: chongqing chaotianmen

international firm safdie architects has announced its latest project, ‘chongquin chaotianmen’, a mixed-use complex in chongquin, china, located at the meeting point between the yangtze and jialing rivers. the historically significant site was the traditional chaotian gate where officials received imperial decrees from the emperors. to honor its previous use, the center is divided into eight north-facing towers in the shape of sails upon the water, a modern representation of a fleet of ancient chinese ships.

all images courtesy of safdie architects



the two central towers are 358 meters (1175 feet) above the flood plain. they will contain a service residence, a hotel, private residences and office spaces that will be linked by a garden bridge. tucked within the large towers are four shorter versions at a height of 248 meters (814 feet). together, they form a continuous arch. along the exterior, a connecting platform links the two residential and two office towers together. within the overpass is a full floor of hotel lobby, restaurants and clubs. above are the rooftop gardens and pools.

upward view of towers



the remaining two smaller structures are residential, giving the project a total of 302, 000 sq. meters of living units. underneath the skyscrapers are five levels of public programs including cultural facilities, a conference center, a theater, retail destinations and hubs for land and water transportation including ferry docking.

inward facing balconies with vegetation


view from water at dusk

aerial view of towers

upward view of towers

initial day and night aerial views of model

initial renderings of view from restaurant with rooftop park

early conceptual night view from yangtze river


site plan



project info:


architects: safdie architects
client: capitalland lts / capitamalls asia ltd/ singbridge holdings pte. ltd.
size: 817, 000 sq. m. (8, 800,000 sq.ft)
expected cost: 3.1 billion USD

  • It looks like the second coming of Marina Bay Sands.

    JR says:
  • copy and paste…

    firman says:
  • WOW!!!!

    cash says:
  • I really like this. I looks like the type of architecture that I would like to see more of in this world.

    cheyne owens says:
  • the complexity…speechless.

    dan $bossen says:
  • enough with the sarcasm… let’s talk about how lucrative this project is for his office.

    seems to be the driving force

    bob says:
  • it’s a larger version of the museum at Marina Bay with the same bridge thing on it. it’s nice, but it’s such a repeat.

    aah says:
  • Boring, repetitive glass buildings with a poor relation to the scale of the surroundings. Even the plinth seems to serve as a way of appearing larger than the context. Also, the sky deck seems to bare no relation to the rest of the building, other than that it’s set on top of it. If he’s going to steal an idea from another building it should at least be incorporated well.

    Chris says:
  • from the humanist design perspective, I think the skydeck would offer a really nice look at the city and two rivers… maybe there is some greater functional use that this could have as well…

    plus I have to say that on the concept side, I like the reinterpretation of the area’s historical significance into sail-like forms; in profile you see a big difference against marina bay sands.

    bikki says:
  • wonder if singapore can sue him for designing the same sky high infinity pool for china…. nice but come on … we all know bills have to be paid but …..

    rjf says:
  • well, the money probably really good..

    dnto says:
  • All of the above and….. the wind velocity between each building could add some extra excitement for xtreme sport, energy generation, bungy jumping, Aeolian harp music or free fall.

    michaelangelodesign says:
  • It is the chinese version of the Holy-land project in Jerusalem 🙂

    NB says:
  • 3 words…. MARINA BAY SANDS.

    Ko says:
  • Developers dream with very simple shapes, economy and organization. That’s what we are hired for. When we get to the age of past 60, we focus on making most of the program.. When financial incentives allow developer to include environmentally sustainable issues with real payback, then we do things differently. But for now, this is professional.

    tapani talo says:
  • As an architect, having visual continuity between projects during your career is logical. Its the same architect as the marina bay sands so it would make sense that the design has some influences from earlier works, especially if there were successful elements in the original design.

    Aaron M. says:
  • It seems to be appropriate for the area, whether it looks like MBS or not. I’ve noticed the base has serious work done, which would be needed at the confluence of two rivers. Changes I could see for the design, would be to lower the rooftop garden and incorporate it to cover all the buildings. By lowering and incorporating all of the buildings, the price/rent of those apartments above, would be higher. d;-)

    Jetwax says:
  • Clean developer solution. Slight curves are not expensive, otherwise a ‘Miesian’ Tower. Trump would have approved.
    If one was to be Green, these could have been made such relatively inexpensively, but no tax incentives in China of US for that.
    These are kind of solutions that rip cities apart, isolated and exclusive. Our skill sets are not to make better harmonious cities these days… too bad

    Tapani Talo says:
  • pointles & monolithic

    Marianna says:

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