The mellow style of Canton Tower perfectly matches the Ling Nan Riverside Culture. The uniqueness of the tower is not only embodied in its creative shape, but also owes to full considerations of aesthetics, material, structure, ergonomics and practical function. It was the complex combination of all those elements that caused various difficulties and obstacles during the construction process. Even at the beginning of the project, experts and scholars claimed that it would be an unachievable mission. It is not hard for people to image the extreme hardship of the construction when standing in front of the tower to enjoy the beauty of this new city landmark.
The foundation of Canton Tower is deep-rooted 40 meters underground. The man-made cast-in-place pile with a 3.8-meter diameter has almost reached the decomposed rocks. “Her slender body” was made of high-strength and high-performance concrete, and the direct pumping reaches 450 meters high, which broke the record of the highest concrete pumping in China.
The “muscles and bones” of Canton Tower are welded together by 50,000 tons of thick steel plates. The diameter of each steel upright column at the bottom is 2 meters wide and it’s gradually decreased to 1.2 meters on the top. The installation accuracy reached 1/2000 with an error less than 5 millimeter.
The “outerwear” of Canton Tower was made of high-strength anti-explosion laminated glass. Every single triangle glass on the arc surface is in different size to build the curves.
Canton Tower has a shape of an open hollow steel structure, with 45-degree counterclockwise torsion from the bottom to the top, which presents as a three-dimensional tilted state. Each section of the tower is different and none of the over ten thousand components is identical, which made the construction measurements and deformation control extremely difficult to manage. The shape of Canton tower is tall and slender, with its twisted crude steel frame being big at the bottom and top but narrow in the middle. The eccentricity between steel-work base and core tube is 9.3 meters, whereas the deviation between the top and the base is 9 meters; such a structure may have lateral sway because of its own weight. At the same time, the exterior steel core structure locates outside of the functional layer which implies the floors cannot be used as operative surface during construction. Therefore, the design of structural stability and calculations of high-order accuracy are very complicated. There is no exaggeration to say that Canton Tower is definitely a masterpiece of the century that challenges architectural limits.
Due to its height and peculiarity of its shape, there are various difficulties in the construction of steel structure including lifting, measuring, and welding and deformation control. The construction technology of the steel structure became the most distinguishing feature and difficulty of Canton Tower.
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