SAKO architects completes the 'crystal,' a glimmering tower in jinan

SAKO architects completes the 'crystal,' a glimmering tower in jinan

sako architects’ towering workspace in Jinan


Situated in the bustling development zone around Jinan‘s new high-speed railroad station, SAKO Architects‘ so-called Crystal stands tall as a twenty-nine-story office building rising to a height of 126 meters. Driven by a 500% floor area ratio and a commitment to economic rationality, the architects embraced the concept of twin towers within the surrounding areas facing similar conditions. This architecture features a large square plane, enclosing a vertically stacked 27-meter square atrium.

sako crystal jinanimages © Yu Mingsong, Yao Zhenjia



Embracing Natural Light in a Minimalist workspace


The heart of SAKO Architects’ Crystal in Jinan lies in its atrium, intricately designed with two, five, six, five, six, and two tiers. The first two-level atrium serves as the entrance hall and retail space, while the atrium above it transforms into common office space. Elevator banks strategically located at the four corners of the atrium provide direct access to individual offices. The surrounding office spaces are flexible, catering to either a single company’s exclusive use or shared occupancy by multiple companies.


Addressing the potential claustrophobia associated with a centrally located atrium, the architects devised a solution. A ‘crack’ in the exterior wall introduces direct sunlight into the atrium, creating an open and airy atmosphere. The minimalist white space enhances the distribution of reflected light, ensuring a bright and welcoming environment.

sako crystal jinan



The Glass Crystal Illusion


The curtain walls on the north, south, east, and west elevations of The Crystal exemplify SAKO Architects’ commitment to elevating the fabric of Jinan. The mullions, designed to be inconspicuous, contribute to the building’s sleek appearance. With a building area of 3,000 square meters and a towering height of 126 meters, this glass giant boasts a volume of 380,000 cubic meters. The deliberate ‘cracks’ on each side mimic the appearance of a glass crystal, allowing daylight to penetrate the atrium and serving as private terraces for offices facing them.

sako crystal jinan



As daylight transitions to night, The Crystal undergoes a mesmerizing transformation. Horizontal bands of light, unveiling the stacked atrium, and vertical light highlighting the ‘cracks’ shift to hues of blue and purple. The result is a futuristic spectacle reminiscent of a science fiction world. Locals affectionately refer to the undulating ‘cracks’ as ‘like a rising dragon,’ emphasizing the building’s dynamic and mythical nighttime presence.

sako crystal jinan SAKO architects completes the 'crystal,' a glimmering tower in jinan


SAKO architects completes the 'crystal,' a glimmering tower in jinan



project info:


project title: Crystal Tower

architecture: SAKO Architects

location: Jinan, China

principal architect: Keiichiro Sako | @keiichiro_sako

lighting design: Puri Lighting Design

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