Brancusi-inspired spectacular skyscraper inaugurated in China

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A skyscraper inspired by Romanian famous sculptor Constatin Brancusi’s “Endless Column” sculpture has been commissioned in Shanghai, China. The building, which will serve as on office building, has been designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) and is called SOHO Gubei office tower It is shaped as an undulating obelisk with a diagonally canted zig-zag profile.

Each side of the tower’s sculptural form consists of four stacked volumes, with a series of shifted grids creating a density of wall surfaces that offer shade, reduce glare, and create a sense of urban solidity.

The 38-story office tower is grounded by a 12-story retail podium, the massing of which compliments the tower with a simpler articulation. The angles of the podium’s vertical planes place emphasis on the street through responding to the grain of the residential neighborhood, while at the top level, a sky garden offers dining and outdoor spaces to tenants and the general public.

The building’s completion was market during an opening ceremony on February 28th. The event was also marked with the inauguration of Pan Shiyi’s personal photography exhibition on display in the SOHO Gubei lobby, featuring over 80 portraits of entrepreneurs, scientists, scholars, actors, writers, construction workers, teachers, and children of Panji Village in Tinahsui Gansu.

Brancusi’s “Endless Column” is part of the Monument Ensemble in Targu – Jiu that the sculptor himself has made and inaugurated in 1938. The column is 29.35-metre tall and is made of 16 overlapped octahedral modules.

Carved from oak, this succession of pyramids forms a rhythmic and undulating geometry that suggests the possibility of infinite expansion. Like other favorite motifs, this was one that Brancusi would return to over the course of his career.

In the mid-1920s, he carved an Endless Column for his friend the photographer Edward Steichen that rose more than twenty-three feet. It was in 1937 though that Brancusi built a steel Endless Column in Tîrgu-Jiu, Romania, that soared more than ninety-eight feet into the air. That Endless Column, his last, was part of a larger sculptural ensemble that included The Gate of the Kiss and Table of Silence, which formed the artist’s only foray into public sculpture.

The entire sculpture ensemble in Targu-Jiu is an homage paid to the heroes who died during the WWI.

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