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Like a fish out of water: RMJM designs aluminum scale-clad tower


August 28, 2014

The Doumen Observation Tower, by RMJM (Image: RMJM)

The Doumen Observation Tower, by RMJM (Image: RMJM)

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There's something fishy going on in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China. Following an architectural competition, RMJM's Shenzhen office has been given the nod to build a striking observation tower that's meant to resemble a fish out of water and is clad in 1,400 aluminum scales.

The Doumen Observation Tower draws design inspiration from both the movement of water, and a fish leaping out of the river – the latter is meant to symbolize the prosperity and rapid transformation of the city.

Such symbolism can often be seen as more important to architectural projects in China compared to, say, the US, where it can often seem an afterthought. This is highlighted by projects like the Guangzhou Circle Mansion and Phoenix Towers, which draw upon Feng Shui, and the traditional Chinese Phoenix, respectively.

The observation tower will rise 88 m (288 ft) into the sky, with a total floor space of 4,563 sq m (49,115 sq ft). The interior will be split into three sections: cafes, restaurants, and souvenir stores on the ground, while the middle features an unspecified "recreation platform," and up-top there's a glass-encased observation platform that offers 360 degree views.

In addition to lending the tower the appearance of a shimmering fish, RMJM states that the aluminum "scales" will provide a degree of sun protection to the building and create interesting natural light patterns within.

As yet, we've no word on when building will begin, nor when the project is due to be completed, but have contacted to RMJM in a bid to find out.

Source: RMJM

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road. All articles by Adam Williams

Aluminum!! Are they trying to destroy the environment?


I think it is beautiful. It would be neat to see it when it is done.

Perhaps they could use recycled aluminum for the panels? There are a lot of aluminum cans out there that can be used in it.


Looks like a giant fallis to me . perhaps the should name it..The shaaa wing building ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szkgylvDYA4

Jay Finke

How would aluminum distroy the enviroment?

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