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Wuhan Greenland Center, Wuhan, China

Tuesday 21 Jun 2011

Battle of the tall buildings continues

All images © Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture 
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29/06/11 Keith Fielder, London
The Editorial focuses on the engineering aspects of wind resistance, fair enough, but skyscrapers must be hermetically sealed as a resistance against natural elements so that the occupants are locked into an insulated and isolated environment and thus lost touch with nature. So, what about the social aspects of skyscraper living and working: where will all the workers in the offices live? Presumably in remote suburbs a long way away from the CBD where property values are lower, commuting for hours every day, sitting in their cubicles in an open plan office with cold conditioned air blowing down on their heads. Where do they go for lunch? Where do they do their shopping? Where's the park? Where's the school? etc. etc. I guess the residents would be those 'ideal' young couples without kids, sipping their wines and enjoying the view from their capsules. Where would kids play? It's great for a hotel of course, the guests who stay for a night or two will be overwhelmed by the views over the distant suburbs. Call me old-fashioned but I'm getting a bit cynical about these skyscrapers: they make people lose touch with earth. Or do they: what do others, think?
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Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill, Thornton Tomasetti and PositivEnergy Practice to design world's fourth tallest building 

Fast becoming leaders in the design of tall buildings, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture have just scooped another major project in China which is destined to become the fourth tallest building in the world when construction completes in approximately five years.

Entitled Wuhan Greenland Center, the 606m pillar will be located on the intersection of the Yangtze and Han Rivers and will comprise around 200,000 sq m of commercial office space, 50,000 sq m of high-end residential accommodation, a 45,000 sq m five-star hotel, and a stunning private member’s club in a 27m-tall penthouse volume.

Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill will work as design architects on the 119-storey scheme, with engineers Thornton Tomasetti and energy services, engineering and consulting company PositivEnergy Practice. Speaking on the decision, Gordon Gill commented: “Wuhan is an exciting and important project for our firm as we continue to advance our ideas about performance-based supertall tower design. We look forward to building on past experience on similar projects, with particular emphasis on the relation of architectural form and performance as they pertain to structural wind loads.”

Work is still being completed on the concept design although construction is due to start this coming summer. The structure’s fluid conical form has been deliberately crafted to minimise the volume of structural material needed in construction, whilst its tapered body, softly rounded corners and domed top have been introduced in order to reduce wind resistance and vortex action that occurs around supertall buildings. The tower’s elongated silhouette rises from a tripod-shaped base, tapering gently to an arched apex of smooth curved glass which works in direct contrast to the textured curtain wall of the main column.

Key Facts

Status Competition win
Value 0(m€)
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Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

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