Chicago Export
New Year, New Hotel for Goettsch Partners

Today we continue our series of reports we call “Chicago Exports.”

So much of the world’s great architecture is designed right here in Chicago by Chicagoans, but it’s not built in Chicagoland so it goes unseen by the hometown crowd. That’s why we are featuring the great works produced by Chicago architects continuing the city’s proud legacy as the birthplace of the skyscraper, and a global center of architecture.

While you were getting your groove on this past New Year’s at Chi-Town Rising (no, we’re not going there), the people at Goettsch Partners were celebrating a little milestone of their own: The opening of the Park Hyatt in Guangzhou, China.  The 208-room hotel is inside the skyscraper known as R&F Yingkai Square, a 66-story building designed by Goettsch.  The tower is named for its developer, R&F Properties.

Animation of the R&F Yingkai Square (Courtesy of Goettsch Partners)

Animation of the R&F Yingkai Square (Courtesy of Goettsch Partners)

At 972 feet tall, it sports 1.5 million square feet of space and is the 40th-tallest building in China.  If you were to put it in Chicago, it would be #7, just after Two Prudential Plaza.

Running the official press release about the project through Google Translate tells us, “Park Hyatt Guangzhou Goettsch Partners architectural design famous surgeon from the United States, looks very modern and cool full.”  We fully agree.

The hotel’s interiors were done by the awesomely-named Japanese firm Super Potato.  Not to be confused with the awesomely-named Japanese clothing company Bathing Ape.  Or the awesomely-named Japanese gum Black Black. Or the terribly-named Japanese drink Calpis.

Here’s how Goettsch describes the building:

Located in Guangzhou’s new city center of Zujiang, the R&F Yingkai Square rises as part of a larger master plan of mixed-use towers which collectively signify the emergence of Guangzhou as a major metropolitan city. Inspired by the segmentation and veining of Chinese bamboo, the 296 meter tower is designed as a singular iconic volume which pinches at the corners in relation to the changing programmatic functions stacked within. The pinched corners therefore not only give the tower its unique skyline silhouette but also identify at an urban scale how the building is programmatically arranged internally.

While the point tower internalizes its functions into a singular expression, the design is greatly born of its context. The square tower massing respects the geometric rigidity of the street grid, helping to form urban rooms in conjunction with the neighboring parcel. The pinching language created by carving out the corners highlights the unique vistas available through the diagonal extensions of the site while their organic arrangement harkens to the adjacent central green and nearby Pearl River Delta.

The good news is that if you want to experience this building’s carved corners in all their glory, you don’t have to pony up $140 for a Chinese tourist visa.  You can just wait a couple of years, amble down to the South Loop and take a gander at 1326 South Michigan.  Because you know what they say about great minds.

R&F Yingkai Square and 1326 South Michigan Separated at Birth

“You get a chamfer! And you get a chamfer! And you get a chamfer!” — Oprah Winfrey

Regardless of who wore it best, it’s a great design and the result is a beautiful building.  So enjoy this gallery of photographs:


Location: 16 Huaxia Road, Tianhe District

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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