The Gentle Giant is a proposal for an Observation Tower in the Chinese city of Suqian. Two were the main goals of the competition:
a. To connect the Observatory Tower with the existing infrastructure / bridge that develops along the site.
b. To alter the merely horizontal configuration of the context and to modify its skyline with an ephemeral landmark, which could constitute a visual magnet for tourists and visitors.
The conceptual origin of the project derives from the reinterpretation of two Chinese traditional typologies according to a contemporary syntax. The Gentle Giant combines the vertical presence of the so-called Pagodas and Porcelain Towers with the adaptive geometry of the famous Great Wall, whose formal configuration depends on its reaction to the specific topographical constraints.
The Gentle Giant is based on the dynamic superposition of two different systems of ramps: one, longer and smoother, which allows a complete and relaxed experience of the surrounding panorama. The second ramp, on the contrary, is a sort of direct connection with the ground, for those interested in a quicker visit of the building. Once the visitor will get to the highest point of the Tower, he / she will find a circular lounge area where to have a rest and enjoy the beautiful views of the Flower Farm.
The Gentle Giant’s geometry recalls the existing bridge: a sinuous, sensual and organic ramp that turns into a vertical tower. Visitors are trapped into a spiral labyrinth-like effect that will guide them from the ground up to the sky. Through a gradual and gentle promenade, they will climb this artificial mountain and will get on top of it. Perception and movement become keywords of this project. The Gentle Giant works as a transparent skeleton, whose aspect is not closed or static; on the contrary, it is constantly changing and evolving, depending on the interaction with its users.
So a simple Observatory Tower can also become a real public space: a space for aggregation and socialization. At the same time, vegetation will progressively colonize its structure and little by little, will change its perception.