It’s fitting that the country that boasts the famous terracotta army also be the one that’s home to the world’s tallest terracotta-clad tower. Rising to a total height of 530 m (1,739 ft) on a site overlooking the Pearl River, the Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates-designed Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre is also China’s second-tallest building, after the Shanghai Tower, and the fifth tallest worldwide.
The Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre is actually one of a pair of towers referred to as the Guangzhou Twin Towers. Its counterpart was designed by Wilkinson Eyre and was completed in 2010, rising to 440 m (1,443 ft). Its fifth-place ranking comes from the influential CTBUH and consists of completed buildings only.
The tower’s stepped form reflects its mixed interior layout and allows for impressive sky terraces. A total floorspace of 508,000 sq m (5.4 million sq ft) is split between office space, residential space and a hotel. An eight-story podium is connected to the tower and includes a hotel ballroom and function space, in addition to retail, restaurants, a cinema, and more roof terraces.