morphosis completes supertall hanking center in shenzhen with a web-like detached core

Jun 04, 2021

morphosis completes its hanking center, a mixed-use tower with office and retail space located in shenzhen, china. rising nearly 1,180 feet tall, the 65-story skyscraper is defined by its pioneering steel structural system and a detached-core configuration which positions its primary core on the building’s exterior. this radical rethinking of the typology promotes higher efficiency and adaptability of interior floor plates, enhancing the tower’s ability to service the varying needs of its occupants. the detached-core also allows for an innovative approach to internal circulation and the creation of social and work spaces that integrate the public and private realm.

shenzhen’s new hanking center marks the first supertall skyscraper designed by morphosis. officially completed in 2018, its gradual opening continued into 2021 and currently stands as the tallest detached-core building in the world. the slender profile redefines shenzhen’s skyline, emerging elegantly above a low-rise retail podium that also features angled facets, shadowing the form of the tower above. a series of glass sky bridges and steel mega-braces knit the offset core to the main body of the tower, creating dramatic connections in the sky that allow for efficient circulation routes within the tower.

the team at morphosis considers the shenzhen’s rapidly developing high-tech industrial sector when organizing its hanking center. flexible interior spaces meet the needs of start-up firms and their evolving spatial requirements. by shifting movement and services outside the main body of the tower, morphosis’ design significantly minimizes the building’s structural footprint while maximizing open spaces inside. the tower itself is defined by a robust steel frame that provides structural support while also shaping the building’s geometry. rather than creating a perfectly symmetrical block, the exoskeletal frame bends and straightens to expand and contract interior floor sizes, creating a gestural sense of movement.

morphosis founding partner thom mayne notes: ‘as a typology, skyscrapers tend to emphasize shape as the primary differentiator. instead, we focused on lived experience within the city. the delamination between the circulation core and the office spaces within the tower generates a threshold, an intensification of the urban landscape as part of the day-to-day.’ project director and morphosis partner eui-sung yi continues: ‘hanking center continues the firm’s tradition of creating buildings that reflect the spirit of the cities in which they are located and that are also deeply integrated within its urban fabric. as shenzhen continues to grow, we are proud to contribute a striking new icon for the city that mirrors its own ambitions.’

project info:

project title: hanking center

architecture: morphosis

location: shennan boulevard and kejizhong yi road, nanshan district, shenzhen, china

client: hanking group

design director: thom mayne

project principal: eui-sung yi

project manager: hann-shiuh chen

project architects: jamie z. wu, mario cipresso, amit upadhye

project designers: daniel pruske, ben toam, natalia traverso caruana

photography: zhang chao, fei wu