Discover Guangzhou | Architecture of Pazhou and surroundings

Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province is known for being the centre of China’s economic powerhouse and a business city.

Most architecture aficionados would travel first to Beijing to capture the leftovers of the 2008 games and Shanghai to gaze upon the Pudong skyline from the Bund. What’s for Guangzhou?

The building of the new central business district of Zhujiang New Town and the 2010 Asian Games have given the city a boost and a few buildings that contributes to building-up Guangzhou’ skyline.

Here is a short collection of impressive buildings outside the city downtown core. Guangzhou subway system (广州地铁) is the fastest and most efficient way to see all these buildings in one day.

Guangzhou Science Center 广州科学中心

Science Center Guangzhou

The Guangzhou Science Center is a stunning building, unfortunately situated far away from the city center in Guangzhou’s mega university center.

The building is home to a science and technology museum (70 RMB entrance fee) which unfortunately does not provide any explanation in English language.

In spite of its remote location, the building does attract architecture aficionados and photographers who stroll around the pound west of the building.


Subway : Line 8 / Stop @ Xingangdong (新港东)

Langham Guangzhou

Open in November 2013, the new Langham Place Hotel is the third five-star hotels to open on Pazhou Island (琶洲岛). It sits atop yet another brand new international exhibition center. From far away, it looks like a clumsy stacks of books. The impressive design of the building is breaking away from the other structures in the area.

If you want a close-up view, go directly at Xingangdong, but for a panoramic view go across the river (take the subway line 5 to Yuan Cun 员村 and walk to Binjiang Avenue (滨江大道)


Subway : Line 8 / Stop @ Pazhou (琶洲)

Nanfung Guangzhou
The Nanfung Exhibition Center presents striking similiarities with the adjacent Langham Place Hotel. I am still not sure whether the architect who designed the Langham Place Hotel also drew the blueprint to the Nanfung Center (or vice-versa) or one copied the other (which is never impossible in China).

Walking passed by them, we can’t help but notice that both buildings definitely were inspired by the same concept of the ‘clumsy stack of books’.


Subway : Line 8 / Stop @ Pazhou (琶洲)

Pazhou Exhibition Center Guangzhou
The Pazhou Exhibition Center was built to sustain the expansion of the Canton Fair (广交会), China’s most important trade fair which is held in Guangzhou’s twice a year in Spring and in Autumn. It’s a massive building that spreads on both sides of the avenues and linked by a sky-bridge.

You’ll get the best view of the building once you are inside or if you get atop the Westin Hotel which is directly linked to the complex when trade fairs are held. Impressive at first time, one is rapidly disappointed by the rusty structure.


Subway : Line 8 / Stop @ Pazhou (琶洲)

Westin Pazhou Guangzhou

Rivalling with the Shangri-la Hotel, the art-deco Westin Hotel Pazhou is the the first hotel connected directly to the Pazhou Exhibition Center. Very handy during the Canton Fair period.


Canton Tower Guangzhou
Subway : Line 3 / Stop @ Chigang Pagoda (赤岗塔)

Completed ahead of the Asian Games of 2010, the Canton Tower is now an icon in Guangzhou’s skyline. As a photographer and an architecture lover, you’ll have to pay 30 RMB to get on the esplanade to get close-up shot of the tower’ structure.
If the weather is clear, take the lift to the viewing deck on the 107th floor where you’ll dominate the new business district of Zhujiang New Town (珠江新城), across the Pearl River.



Guangzhou South Rail Station
Subway : Line 2 / Stop @ Guangzhou South Railway Station (广州南站)

Located in the urban district of Panyu, the south railway station opened in July 2010 and is currently the largest railway station in Asia and was built to handle bullet-train traffic to and from Changsha, Wuhan, Zhenghzou, Beijing and other destinations, including Shenzhen North.

The banana-leaf style roof structure coupled with the skylight and the massive scale contribute to make the railway station a very impressive structure.

Like most of the new railway stations, it is located far outside of town. From Zhujiang New Town, it takes around 45 minutes by subway (change at Kecun and Changgang) and around half an hour by taxi (depending on traffic).

There are 2 comments

    1. Gaetan

      All these buildings are very new. The Canton Tower opened in 2010 before the Asia Games, and all the other buildings (except Pazhou Exhibition Center) opened either last year or are still under construction.
      There is a lot going on in the city for sure.

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