The Identity of a City

The Identity of a City

June 30, 2017


The definition of a great city is part subjective and part discernible from the streets, icons and transit of places like Paris, London, Rome, New York. The political decision to build aspirational architecture can change the trajectory of a city, its people and can become apart of cultural identity in the global sphere.

With the increase of Instagram culture, what a city has to offer as subjects for tourists and locals’ photo sharing habits increases in tandem. Similarly, a city’s communicative power and prowess in relation to other cities can be distilled down to the expanse of its structures.    

The institution of the Dongguan International Trade Center intends to establish the city of Dongguan in a similar fashion. Recognized as one of China’s largest manufacturers of foreign goods, Dongguan now looks to position itself as a producer of quality goods conceived and designed by creative locals within the city.

The Dongguan International Trade Center will assist in shaping the city’s new identity. The 5+ vision for the project was inspired by Dongguan’s natural surroundings, namely Huangqi Mountain and, at its peak, the lantern commemorating the spot where the legendary glow of fireflies around a banyan tree guided fishermen home from the sea. Reflecting this imagery in its design, the trade center builds on iconicity that communicates its growth and is nearing the completion of an 88-story tower, the 24th largest building in the world.