Portfolio : Towers

Throughout history towers have marked the urban skyline by their verticality, reflecting spiritual (bell towers, minarets), political (belfries) or socio-economic power. They are part of the city's identity in the same way that they express the identity of their commissionner.
Xizhimen business district | (c) AREP - Didier Boy de la Tour

Created by AREP, the Xizhimen towers in Beijing are located on the site of an ancient city gate. Having the form of three arches, the gables of which are seen from the city centre, they stand as a symbol for the gates to Chinese cities. The Doha Sports City tower was constructed to support the Olympic flame during the ceremony of the 2006 Games and symbolises a huge torch. The Agribank Tower in Hanoi, rising up from a green base, brings to mind a rock due to its “mineral” appearance.


Nevertheless, towers, whether isolated or as part of a wider project, are not designed simply to form urban icons.


They are popular, especially with housing development projects, because they provide stunning views but also because they can carry a high density of activities. But there is more than that. Towers offer an answer to urban issues and should be compared to other types of buildings considering the image and values that they convey.


Even functional or heavy with symbolism, towers cannot generate a highquality urban environment unless they contribute to create a continuous and vibrant public space which adapts to human scale but also to everyday urban mobility.