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ON THE HORIZON: The R&F Guangdong Tower
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The R&F Guangdong Tower

By Richard Cook

BT 201503 06 On the horizon 3The Middle Kingdom is certainly set to become the tallest kingdom, at least on average. Taking the total height of skyscrapers built in 2014 Tianjin comes out on top. Tianjin and Wuxi both stepping over the 1,200ft mark and ahead considerably, compared to rival cities across the globe. Further bolstering Tianjin's reach for the sky, the city completed the most 200m+ projects in the world last year. Every kingdom needs a king, and Tianjin is certainly the king of soaring projects.

This month, staying in the Binhai area, we home in on the Guangdong development before we turn our eyes elsewhere next month. Backed by one of the largest private real estate enterprises in China, Guangzhou R&F Properties, it is no surprise that the project is casting eyes upon it. Along with last week's Chow Tai Fook development the R&F Guangdong project is central to the Binhai master plan for its central Business District (CBD) development.

BT 201503 08 Management hlAs previously stated Guangzhou R&F Properties is one of the most notable names in the Chinese development sector. Noted for its success in the vastly significant economic hub of Guangzhou near Hong Kong, the company boast an impressive record. Active since 1994, the expansion of their business now sees them investing and developing over a range of sectors. As a part of their wide ranging city focus, their projects are targeted towards identified booming CBD development areas within China, Tianjin being one of them. To offer a brief check-up of their involvement in Chinese CBD development, Guangzhou R&F Properties have successfully operated within all 25 listed cities with singled out CBD zones. Furthermore, with its established multi-star hotel portfolio, boasting chains such as Marriott, Hyatt and Hilton, it is no surprise that its commercial and residential programs are also stemmed towards the increasing middle and higher class of business men/women in China. To put these claims in perspective, a 45 million sq. meter worth of project development is under this company's belt totalling around 150 billion CNY in total asset value, clearly another heavyweight in the sector.

BT 201503 05 On the horizon 54794491201212082208303424180227327 000The structure itself, whilst not teaming in the height of its Binhai counterpart, Chow Tai Fook, still stands tall at the impressive height of 468 meters or 1,535ft. An impressive monument of economic power on the banks of the river Haihe 海河 to go with the colossal port just a short drive away where the river meets the Bohai Basin. The difference for this project is that it will be situated on the south side of the Haihe 海河 within Xinqiaoli 新桥里, meaning it will refurbish the tainted views of the river along with the Polar Ocean World and the Lanjing Island 蓝鲸岛 developments. This much-needed zonal development is however met with some criticism as its urban scope is contrasted to immediate agricultural views a stone throw away. With this said, it is expected that in later years these areas too, will receive revitalization from the shoddy age old layout of the outer city zones.

As the development trend goes, the structure will boast commercial, hospitality and residential assets. Tipped by Guangzhou R&F Properties, the 48 residential apartments will feature at the apex of the tower, swaggering its high quality targets for this sector. A hotel situated below the apartment floors will be able to accommodate guests in 400 rooms as part of a 5 star hotel, expected to be linked to one of Guangzhou R&F Properties' partner chains. 8,500sq meters of retail are also expected to feature. Proposed in 2008 and considering the initial construction beginning in 2012, the project is expected to be completed by early 2018.

With Binhai's GDP continuing its excessive expansion it is no wonder the beams of steel and concrete are getting higher and struck out into a more fashionable stance. The R&F Guangdong Tower will continue the symbol of a growing economic strength in this region and redevelopment along the Haihe river mouth. The means for economic demonstration are soon to be completed; the follow through of economic quality and quantity in Binhai will soon be the talking points. Following on from last month's murmur of CBD disposition, it is clear the urban planning logic may be soon called into question considering the short term argumentative points. Long term, offers a different realization - realization of the further need of creative landscape design to brush up the aesthetic demand. Thus, why is it being built here? To sum up what has just been stated simplistically, it is because it offers the chance for significant aesthetic development along the river. Tianjin is opting for the TEDA zone phenomena, therefore it needs an attractive environment for business along its river.

So Tianjin has the global title for tallest structures under construction combined, it is shooting for the needed visual appeal to go hand in hand with its new generation of symbolic skyscrapers. Understandable too, as China is gathering momentum to oust the projected vision of environmental issues, whilst crafting its economy into a new stage of entrepreneurism. TEDA is a prime example of this government target, combining both matters. The R&F Guangdong Tower development will be one of the aspects needed to kick out the old image of the Haihe River 海河 and present the TEDA zone as a symbolic international hub.


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