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Urban TV — 03.10.12

Building In China 1: Guangzhou TV-TowerIBA – Guangzhou TV Tower


In an upcoming series of videoportaits ‘Building in China’, the story of Mark Hemel and Barbara Kuit (Information Based Architecture. As a small start-up they managed to win a competition for the tallest TV Tower in the world in Guanzhou. And this mega structure was finished recently. From one of the two rotating restaurants in the top of the tower (it is China after all, where you don’t count without a rotating restaurant, and one more is better) Mark Hemel looks back at one on e the most succesfull projects of Dutch architect in China (certainly the highest).

Should they not have won the design contest, they probably would have gone broke. Besides, Brabara was highly pregnant during the couple of months they worked on the first phase of the contest. Their second daughter was born on the day they received news that they were selected for a second round. Still Information Based Architecture were convinced they could defeat the starchitects they had to compete with. And so they did.
Even after this good news anything could have gone wrong. They could easily have been mangled between the wheels of advisors, meetings with sometimes hundreds of participants, enormous financial risks and interests, their relative ignorance of local building culture etcetera. But that didn’t happen. And this is mostly due to the smart design, that could handle a lot of tweaking and change without losing the basic combination of structure and form.


nai010 publishers will publish the story of designing and building the project, besides lots of images and drwaings, full of anecdotes and personal stories and a lot of attention to the (designing and building). It can be ordered now.
Mark Hemel, Barbara Kuit, Supermodel, Making one of the World’s Tallest Towers

See also ArchiNed interview with Mark Hemel en Barbara Kuit