A spectacular tower that looks like a frozen waterfall floating in mid-air

Credit: @sou_fujimoto

How can a tower still be something new and interesting in this modern world? According to Sou Fujimoto Architects, the answer is an unbelievable project: a tower that, in addition to resembling a frozen, floating waterfall, is also a collection of small islands.

Let’s take a look at this futuristic project together.


# The “Ethereal Tower”: the winning project of the New City Center Landmark

Credit: @sou_fujimoto

Sou Fujimoto Architects have announced the winning project of the New City Center Landmark. Its name is the “Ethereal Tower” and it is a monumental floating tower situated on the bay of Qianhaiwan District in Shenzhen, China.

Shenzhen is a coastal city in the south of Guangdong Province, located about forty kilometers from Hong Kong. Thanks to its location, this former fishing village has been transformed into a modern metropolis housing several major tech and start-up comapanies.

This booming city wanted a spectacular project to show off its wealth and the Celestial Tower seems to be a perfect fit.

# The skyscraper composed of 99 islands

Credit: @sou_fujimoto

The 268m-high tower consists of 99 “islands”shaped like towers that rise above the surface of the water and are connected by a horizontal plane at the top.

These sections gradually fade away as they descend, giving viewers the impression of standing in front of a frozen waterfall.

The tower will host a viewing platform, which also acts as a three-dimensional exhibition space, with a restaurant and café designed to allow visitors to take in the breathtaking
Sou Fujimoto aimed to blend the natural with the artificial, thus making the whole as
harmonious as possible.

But now the most important question: how does this structure appear to float in mid-air?

# How the structure works


According to the designers, a large central pylon will support the tower, while huge tension cables will carry the rest of the load.

Most of the 99 leaning elements have limited points of contact with the main tower, thus giving this Ethereal Tower the appearance of floating in the air.

The Celestial Tower is primarily constructed of steel, carbon fiber, Kevlar Rope and concrete.

# The “Eiffel Tower” of the 21st century?

Credit: @sou_fujimoto

Being one and many simultaneously, this tower symbolizes the future of societies in an age of diversity.

In terms of design concept, the architectural firm posed the following question: ” What does a new ‘tower’ mean in the 21st century? How can a tower evolve and still be as interesting as the Eiffel Tower?”

Based on the answers and the current urban fabric of the neighborhood, the firm proposed a suspension structure, reminiscent of a group of islands, an aerial city and a frozen waterfall.

Although Sou Fujimoto has not given a construction start date yet, once finished, the Ethereal Tower could represent the tower of the future.