China, Hangzhou 

Canhigh Center


Competition 2000 – 1st Prize
Meinhard von Gerkan and Nikolaus Goetze
Project leader Volkmar Sievers
Chinese partner practice Zhejiang Building Design & Research Institute
Client Canhigh Hangzhou
Gross floor area 117,000 m²
Height 115 m
Construction period 2004–2009



Hans-Georg Esch




A nine story high, open and generous shopping mall acts as the new link between the southern city center and the northern parts of town. The mall is covered by a finely worked steel and glass roof. However, the overall design – in all of its size and quality – concentrates on the high-rise, which has been conceived as a large scale sculpture based on an elementary square grid of 8.40 m length. The two building volumes, set back against each other according to height and length, are connected by glass joints. In the middle of the high-rise each of them step back at the entrances and, together with the battlement-like top of the towers, the high-rise turns into one of the iconic landmarks of Hangzhou. All of the facades are heavily profiled and executed in grey stone. They put a special emphasis on the building’s verticality and help draw the parts together as an object. Two glass bridges link the high rise and the neighboring shopping mall. Soon after the Canhigh Center opened it was awarded the American LEED Gold certificate.