Tianjin Supertall Takes a Page From New York’s Past

The Rose Rock International Financial Center will be rising soon in Tianjin, China, and it’s impressive height (1,929 feet tall) is only bested by the fantastic design. Some of BIG’s proposals are excessively avant-garde, like the Pyramid to be built on 57th Street, but the IFC design is an excellent homage to art deco traditions. In fact, architects in New York should take cues from the design, as Manhattan is currently seeing endless glass box designs.

Image from Evolo Magazine

Although the IFC’s podium and base would not be compatible with New York’s grid (and indeed, the base looks quite bloated), the overall concept presented by the tower is one New York should strive for. The lack of new art deco buildings–or even buildings that incorporate components of art deco–is unfortunate in a city that made the style its own.


The top of the IFC is tapered and graceful, with the simple yet numerous setbacks adding to the dramatic rise of the structure. Although the inspiration is traditional, the modern influence of BIG is clearly present, and the juxtaposition between old and new greatly heightens the building’s appeal.

Image from Evolo Magazine

Ironically, the tower won’t even be the tallest in Tianjin if and when it is completed–that honor goes to Goldin Finance 117, which quite resembles Sauron’s Tower from Lord of the Rings (if anything else, it’s certainly different).

New York certainly doesn’t need tall buildings to prove its worth or desirability on a global scale, which is what makes the ongoing boom all the more impressive, as it’s solely based off of demand. Still, as pressure on Manhattan real estate continues to increase, New York’s own 2,000 foot towers are becoming more and more of a possibility. In the end, even the Chinese projects may prove to be nothing more than mirages, as the speculation in many cities has hit a fever pitch.

TFC Horizon
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