RMJM brightens riverside district in china with LED observation tower
all images courtesy of RMJM




as a part of doumen’s new riverfront improvement project, a landmark should be realized at the intersection of two rivers in the center of the promenade development. the riverside district provides a unique traditional culture, where the movement of the water is accompanied by schools of fish that swim and jump into the air. upon making this observation, the architects of RMJM shenzhen found the origin for an idea that would drive their design of the city’s ‘observation tower’, a 100-meter tall building meant to become an iconic symbol for the local environment.

rmjm observation tower china
view from the riverside promenade




the massing is divided into three parts: a ground podium, technological programs in the middle and an observation facility on top. for the integration of the skyscraper into the urban context, the podium avoids using too much of the existing plaza area, and leaves the most space for landscape elements and physical activities for the people. thus, the lower levels will contain a lobby for the elevator entrance, restaurants and cafes, and two small shops to activate the 2000m² public square. above, the middle portion of the tower is planned to house multifunctional communal rooms with a recreational space and a media conference hall. a cantilevered staircase serves as the main means of vertical circulation as it spirals upwards around a core of trusses. once visitors are brought to the top, a lower observation platform enclosed by glass panels is directly accessible by the elevator. from here, the higher exterior viewing balcony can be reached, which provides a 360-degree view to the surroundings of the river and the metropolis.

rmjm observation tower china
the ground floor levels are used as cafes, restaurants, and shops




the overall exterior aesthetic is developed by 1400 panels of perforated aluminum secured on two sides through five fixation points on the sub-frame structure. the sinuous construction consists of twelve two-dimensional curves generated by parametric modelling software. as a result, the sun shading device will project light patterns onto the interior during the day. in turn, as the sun sets, embedded LED lights will backlight the façade at night, reaffirming the project as an iconic building rising above douem.

rmjm observation tower china
at night the tower is illuminated by LED’s from inside

rmjm observation tower china
perforated aluminum panels develop the façade

rmjm observation tower china
experience platform in the middle of the tower

rmjm observation tower china
lighting effects on the interior

rmjm observation tower china
formal diagrams

rmjm observation tower china

rmjm observation tower china
parametric generation of the structure

rmjm observation tower china
façade system details

rmjm observation tower china
programmatic diagrams



project info:


project name: doumen observation tower
project architect: yang zhenyuan
design director: yang hua
design team: stefan mandl, wu jiayang, michael rebhandl, thomas sutner
type: observation tower

location: doumen, zhuhai, china

area: 4563m²
height: 93m
structure: steel/concrete, prefabricated metal panel system



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