KPF takes it tall

Niki May Young
Friday 21 Nov 2008

Shanghai World Financial Center named 'Best Tall Building Overall' by CTBUH

Shanghai World Financial Center has been named ‘Best Tall Building Overall’ at the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) international Tall Building Awards last night. The Centre, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, was commended at the awards ceremony in Chicago for its “clear and elegant form, dramatic at all scales through a connection metaphorically of the earth and sky”. The CTBUH also announced the structural design as ‘revolutionary’.

Standing at 494m tall from sidewalk level to the tip, the Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC) in China falls short of the World’s Tallest Building title by 142 m at the current measurements for the Burj Dubai. But according to the CTBUH the tower is the tallest in two out of four categories: Highest Occupied Floor and Height to Roof. The centre has become iconic in Shanghai and in China.

KPF describe the form of the Shanghai WFC: “A square prism (used by the ancient Chinese to represent the earth) is intersected by "cosmic arcs," accentuating the building’s vertical ascent. This geometry is further dramatized by carving a great sky portal into the upper levels of the building. Reinforcing the fundamental geometry of the building, the sky portal widens as it rises, topped by a sky bridge that joins the opposite corners of the tower into a single form.”

The tower was up against three further regional finalists: The New York Times Tower by Renzo Piano and FXFowle, New York; The Willis Building by Foster + Partners, London; and the Bahrain World Trade Center by Atkins, Bahrain – each also receiving their awards last night.

Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to Cesar Pelli of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects and William F. Baker of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP. Cesar Pelli was awarded the Lynn S. Beedle Award for his “dramatic influence on the profession of architecture in creating buildings that are innovative, unique and advance the art and science of tall building design” and William F. Baker was awarded the Fazlur Rahman Khan Medal for his “extraordinary creativity in structural design and his integrated approach, which has resulted in buildings that simultaneously mesh engineering and architecture to create the building form”.

Niki May Young
News Editor

Key Facts:

Commercial Offices

Want to submit your project to World Architecture News?

Contact The Team