China, Qingdao 

Tsingtau Center


Design Meinhard von Gerkan and Stephan Schütz with Nicolas Pomränke
Stephan Schütz
Project management competition
Torsten Bessel
Design staff
Clemens Kampermann, Tobias Keyl, Lian Kian, Meng Xin, Giuseppina Orto, Ralf Sieber, Xu Ji
Project management execution
Nicolas Pomränke, Torsten Bessel
Executive staff
Kuno von Häfen, Kian Lian, Sabine Stage, Martin Klingner, Carina Slowak, Kristin Schoyerer, Bernd Gotthardt, Thilo Zehme, Jan Deml
Chinese partner firm
Beijing Institute of Architecture Design (BIAD)
Qingdao Zhongjin Yuneng Properties Co., Ltd.
Gross floor area
330,000 m²
Height main towers
238 m / apartment tower 172m
Construction period



Christian Gahl

The new Tsingtau Center is located in the heart of the Central Business District of Qingdao and, with its neighbor to the east, forms a square which opens up to the main road to the north. The base develops on the narrow site in a southerly direction towards the nearby beach, and finishes off with a 172 m high apartment tower. The central location of the site and the height of the building mean that the project can be seen from various places throughout the city.

The main towers to the north, each 238 m high, are identical in shape but stand at an angle of 90° to each other in order to emphasize the opening gesture towards the forecourt. At the same time, however, multifaceted urban design references are created. The apartment tower closes off the sculptural ensemble towards the south.

The entire building complex is perceived as a design unit and is unified to a whole by the sculpturally treated façade areas and a uniform façade principle. The emphasis is on the vertical orientation of the buildings, manifested in the continuous lesenes in the façades and the sculptural formation of the tower tops.

The towers feature slight recesses in the façade, which are staggered in height, “rotating” around the tower. The recesses are optically reinforced by the fact that the 60 cm deep façade louvres end at the recesses and merge into a more homogeneous, flat façade structure. While the towers seem to dissolve towards the top, their bases are “grounded”, so to speak, by closed wall panels clad with local granite.  The apartment tower to the south has similar sculptural recesses, but not the deep façade elements, in order to avoid limiting the unique view.