The Guangzhou Circle acts as a kind of “urban logo” that
serves as a landmark, in the same way those ideograms are
used in Chinese writing, instead of an alphabet. As such, it
may seem indecipherable to those conditioned by Western
skyscraper typologies. The “Bi” disc is one of China’s most
enduring symbols, with a story going back 5,000 years.
Here, set alongside the Zhujiang River, the reflection of the
disc-shaped structure forms a figure “8” in the water, also
an enduring symbol of good fortune.
The Circle plays a strong role in the landscape. It is the
south gate of Guangzhou, and by extension, for all of China,
as the city is a terminus for ferry boats and high-speed rail.
While much of industrial China is characterized by
anonymity and repetition, here a kind of “cultural
sustainability” is at work. People can recognize in this
arresting form the essence of their territory, their traditions,
and yet glimpse the future.
Completion Date: December 2013
Height: 138 m (453 ft)
Area: 83,000 sq m (893,405 sq ft)