Hangzhou ‘Vessel Towers’

Ancient ceramic vessels inspire the form of two towers

Synopsis: These towers in Hangzhou, China, are inspired by ancient curvaceous ceramic vessels from historic museums in Xian, in their delicate balance of form and distribution of mass. The stone/glass skin’s appearance transforms with shifts in sunlight intensity. The landscaped, hill-like bases provide repose for occupants.

Detailed Description: While visiting the extraordinary historic museums in Xian, China, we studied their beautifully crafted ceramic vessels, some 4,000-5,000 years old. These curvaceous vessels are delicately balanced in their form and distribution of mass yet are securely positioned.

These Hangzhou towers are designed to recall the ancient vessels’ exquisite form and shape. They are wrapped in a skin of stone and glass such that the percentage of material and glass changes based on the intensity of their exposure to sunlight.

The buildings’ bases recall the profiles of the rolling hills on Hangzhou’s western boundary. A curved, landscape-covered platform provides restful spaces for occupants in a busy urban context.