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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Air China Blue Sky Tower in Chengdu by KSP Juergen Engel Architekten

January 24th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: KSP Juergen Engel Architekten

KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten International has won the international competition entitled “Blue Sky Building Project” for the Air China headquarters in the major west Chinese city Chengdu. With its design for the high-rise, the international team from Frankfurt/Main and Beijing headed by Johannes Reinsch, Managing Director of KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten International GmbH, saw off five other entries. The office boasts a gross surface area (GSA) of 124,000 m² and offers space for a total of 5,470 workspaces. The fact that the high-rise design should serve as a role model with regard to energy efficiency and sustainability is of major concern to the developer.

Nightview (Image Courtesy KSP Juergen Engel Architekten)

  • Architects: KSP Juergen Engel Architekten
  • Project: Air China Blue Sky Tower
  • Location: Chengdu, China
  • Developer: Air China
  • GSA: in total 124,000 m², of which 24,000 underground
  • Gross volume : 490,819 m³
  • No. of storeys : 46
  • Workspaces: approx. 5,470
  • Parking spaces: 421
  • Height of building: 180 m
  • Competition: Nov. 2011, 1st prize, result announced Dec. 2011
  • Software used: Autocad, Photoshop, Rhino, 3Dmax

Birdview (Image Courtesy KSP Juergen Engel Architekten)

For this reason a special solution was found for the facade of the 180-meter high tower: What are referred to as fins, which protrude from the tower’s glass and, through convection, transport the surplus heat outside, thereby cooling the building. Particularly in a region with subtropical humidity and a high average annual temperature of approx. 17.0° C (Chengdu), one of the objectives was to dissipate unwanted excessive heat as effectively as possible. (By way of comparison, the average annual temperature in Frankfurt/Main is around 10° C). The development of innovative, highly effective sun protection is another important aspect of this holistic energy engineering. The novel sun and heat protection screen responds highly sensitively and almost without transition to the various natural weather conditions, as well as to the demands placed on it by building services engineering, and to user needs. The thin, film-like material used for the sun protection is given different coatings. Depending on the type and level of translucence, it serves as glare protection, as highly reflective sun protection, or as an insulating skin, which in winter reflects thermal radiation inwards and as such, like Heat Mirror glass, counters heat loss. Invisible from the outside, the sun protection is located in the closed cavity facade. This is a sealed double facade with no outward ventilation, which ensures that dust and harmful substances cannot enter the building unfiltered.

Streetview (Image Courtesy KSP Juergen Engel Architekten)

The shape of the tower with its rounded corners and side fins emphasize aviation motifs. However, they are not just based on deliberations relating to aerodynamics and energy efficiency. The triangular geometry of the footprint is also down to the layout of the plot of land and it as function as an “urban hinge”. Furthermore, the slight curvature of the longitudinal facades emphasizes the verticality and slenderness of the tower.

Streetview (Image Courtesy KSP Juergen Engel Architekten)

The attraction of this urban situation is increased not least of all by the publicly accessible areas on the lower levels. Here there are a retail and exhibition area, a flagship store with a ticket and check-in center, and a cinema. All this is rounded out by a shopping mall on the first underground storey with direct access from the neighboring subway station.

The office space is located on storeys 6 to 44, and through two escape and technology storeys on levels 15 and 30 is divided into three sections. A sky lounge and restaurant are envisaged on the 45th floor.


Another project by KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten, the Tianjin Art Museum will be completed in March this year. The approx. 33,000 m² exhibition building in Tianjin is part of a 90-hectare culture and recreation quarter in the city. Following the Art Museum in Nanjing, which opened in 2010 and the National Library of China, which was completed as long ago as 2008, it represents yet another iconic cultural building by KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten.

KSP Jürgen Engel is one of the architecture firms from Germany that enjoy international success. Five offices in the country and one each in Beijing, China and Hanoi, Vietnam enable regional project management and direct contact with clients. In dialog with developers KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten, with a total of 200 employees, design edifices of the highest quality. Design and planning services, as well as a corresponding level of professionalism in the execution of building assignments, no matter what the size, guarantee a high degree of functionality, flexibility and design quality in the buildings.

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Categories: 3dS Max, Autocad, Building, Mixed use, Photoshop, Rhino, Tower

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