Joseph di Pasquale designed Guangzhou Circle
The Guangzhou Circle overlooks the Pearl River and rises 33 floors high.

Mid Century Modern architects thought outside the box to simultaneously meet demands of form and function. The Guangzhou Circle is a contemporary example of architecture outside the predetermined lines.

A Vision for Dialogue

The Guangzhou Circle seeks to push beyond the binary of East-West and to provide an alternative to the vertical, Western skyscraper. In approaching the design for the Guangzhou Circle, Italian architect Joseph di Pasquale sought to let Chinese culture and history and ways of thinking inform the architecture. He looked for inspiration from Chinese written characters and incorporated elements such as traditional jade discs, the royal symbol of a historical dynasty. 

“Roots are essential to me,” architect Joseph di Pasquale says. “Comparison and exchange with other cultures is a must, but this does not at all mean moving towards the standardization of behaviors and mentalities; on the contrary, it will be leading to a greater awareness of one’s values.”  

Joseph di Pasquale, Guangzhou Circle
The Guangzhou Circle is the tallest circular skyscraper in the world, and the only building with an empty hole at its center.

The Guangzhou Circle Architecture

The building opened in December 2013 and has since become an iconic feature in Guangzhou’s urban landscape. At an impressive 33 floors for 453 feet in height (nearly 48 stories) and 278 thousand square feet of surface.

Guangzhou Circle
The distinctive hole at the center of the Guangzhou Circle spans an impressive 48 meters, or 157 feet.


The structure also has the distinction of being the tallest circular building in the world. It continues to inspire as an instance of East in dialogue with West rather than a simple adoption of the Western skyscraper.

Guangzhou Circle interior
The Guangzhou Circle serves as the headquarters for the Hong Da Xing Ye Group, a plastics materials trading company.


Want to see more historically informed, innovative architecture? Check out “Adjaye Associates’ Exemplary Design of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

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