[Image: “No architect is credited with the design of the Century Giant Lamp Tower; a local art institute was asked to make a drawing that was then handed off to local experts to produce the renderings.” Courtesy Cui Chaoren/Guzhen Town/Metropolis].
The city of Guzhen, China, will soon be home to a “colossal 833-foot luminaire,” Metropolis reports. According to the building’s own promotional literature, it will be the “world’s only architecture shaped like a huge Western classical oil lamp.”
Metropolis points out that “the $38 million Century Giant Lamp Tower will stretch 430,560 square feet over 48 floors, with an immense glass chimney on which an array of images will be projected at night from inside. With an observation deck at its crown, the building has a base that will contain shops, restaurants, and a museum to document ‘humanity’s quest for light against darkness.'”
The idea was to design “a tangible icon that spoke of Guzhen as much as the Eiffel Tower spoke of Paris.” In that case, it may be helpful to know that Guzhen is “the lighting capital of China.” From Metropolis: “Just off Lighting Square is Guzhen’s main drag, Lighting Street, lined with more than a thousand showrooms. Every year the town hosts the China International Lighting Fair, one of the largest in the world. And in 1999 town officials announced plans to erect a lofty symbol of its native industry. What could be better than the world’s biggest lamp?”