Gensler sends us news and images about their latest project in China, destined to be the country's tallest. Take the jump for the press release, and visit the Gallery for images...
Tallest Building in China Breaks Ground
Design Completes Super-Tall District, Showcases Sustainable Public Space
SHANGHAI–Groundbreaking ceremonies held today mark the start of construction on
Shanghai Tower. The 632-meter building designed by Gensler, a leading global architectural
design firm, advances sustainable design strategies and gives prominence to public spaces.
The Shanghai Tower Construction & Development Co., Ltd., is the project’s developer.
Thornton Tomasetti structural engineers, Cosentini Associates mechanical, electrical and
plumbing engineers and the Architectural Design and Research Institute of Tongji University
as the Local Design Institute will support Gensler. The development is slated for completion
Shanghai Tower is located in the Luijiazui Finance and Trade Zone, an area of Shanghai that
was farmland eighteen years ago. The district is poised to become China’s first super-tall
district, as Shanghai Tower rises complete a trio of towers including the adjacent Jin Mao Tower
and Shanghai World Financial Center (WFC). Together, these three will form a new icon on
Shanghai’s skyline. While the design of the Jin Mao Tower pays homage to China’s past, and the
WFC’s design signifies China’s recent economic growth, Shanghai Tower’s design is a beacon of
“This tower is symbolic of a nation whose future is filled with limitless opportunities,” said
Qingwei Kong, President of Shanghai Tower Construction & Development Co., Ltd. “With
Shanghai Tower we celebrate not only China’s economic success and increasing connection
to the global community, but also our company’s commitment to developing properties that
demonstrate the highest, noblest and most exquisite design achievements possible.”
Shanghai Tower will house Class-A office space, retail, a luxury hotel and cultural venues. The
uppermost floors will feature the world’s highest non-enclosed observation deck. The tower’s
podium building will offer a high-end retail environment with a major event space. Below-grade
facilities include retail, connections to the Shanghai Metro and three floors of parking.
“We hope Shanghai Tower inspires new ideas about what sustainable tall buildings can be,”
said Art Gensler, FAIA, Chairman of Gensler. “We’ve lined the perimeter of the tower, top to
bottom, with public spaces, and we’ve integrated strategic environmental thinking into every
move. The tower is a stage that comes to life through the presence of people.”
Shanghai Tower is organized as nine cylindrical buildings stacked one atop another. The inner
layer of the double-skin façade encloses the stacked buildings, while a triangular exterior
layer creates the second skin, or building envelope, which gently rotates as it rises. The spaces
between the two façade layers create nine atrium sky gardens. Much like plazas and civic
squares in traditional cities, the sky atria offer spaces within Shanghai Tower for interaction and community with restaurants, cafés, coffee shops and convenience stores, as well as lush
With sky gardens lining the tower’s perimeter, Shanghai Tower is literally wrapped in public
spaces. Both interior and exterior skins are transparent, establishing a visual connection
between the tower’s interiors and Shanghai’s urban fabric. At night the building’s glowing
translucent form further highlights interior public spaces. On the ground level, retail and
event spaces, in tandem with abundant entrances on the site, further the physical and visual
connections between the tower and the city.
In accordance with the goals of the Shanghai Tower Construction and Development Co., Ltd.,
the tower will be one of the most sustainable tall buildings in the world. Working closely
with Thornton Tomasetti and Cosentini, Gensler adopted a fully integrated design approach,
ensuring all design decisions uphold a sustainable intent.
The façade’s taper, texture and asymmetry work in partnership to reduce wind loads on the
building by 20 percent, offering considerable savings overall in both building materials and
construction costs. In addition, the building’s spiraling parapet collects rainwater, which is used
for the tower’s heating and air conditioning systems. Wind turbines located directly beneath
the parapet generate on-site power. The landscaped atria improve indoor air quality, minimize
heat “stack effect” and create comfortable places for people to linger. Shanghai Tower’s
owners aim to register for a high level of building certification from the China Green Building
Council and the U.S. Green Building Council.
View images in the Gallery