Gensler's 632m-high twirling tower tops out
The second tallest building in the world has officially topped out with a celebratory ceremony planned for Saturday 3 August. Designed by Gensler, the Shanghai Tower in the city’s Lujizui development zone now stands at its full 632m in height. It is joined by the SOM-designed Jim Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center by KPF and is due to complete in mid 2014.
During the design process, Gensler used a series of wind tunnel tests to shape a building that could withstand the strongest weather forces endured by Shanghai - a typhoon. The result is a twisting form with a curved double façade which reduces wind loads by 24% and saves $58m in construction costs.
The gigantic 632m-high tower is rooted in the clay-based soil of the Huangpu River delta and therefore requires tremendous foundations for structural stability. A 60-hour continuous concrete pour saw 61,000 cb m of concrete form a 6m-thick mat foundation with 831 reinforced concrete bore piles.
Externally, the defining element of Gensler’s Shanghai Tower is its twirling double façade with a transparent glass skin wrapping the central tower. The curtain wall is suspended from the mechanical floors above and stabilised by a system of hoop rings and struts.
Of their tallest tower, Gensler explains: “The new tower takes inspiration from Shanghai’s tradition of parks and neighbourhoods. Its curved façade and spiralling form symbolise the dynamic emergence of modern China. By incorporating sustainable best practices, Shanghai Tower is at the forefront of a new generation of super-high rise tower, achieving the highest level of performance and offering unprecedented community access.”
Once complete, the world’s second tallest tower will boast 121 storeys and be split into 9 vertical zones. The lower levels will be reserved for retail units and the uppermost floors hosting a hotel, cultural facilities and observation decks. The middle floors will be used for commercial offices.