‘Megatall’ Shanghai Tower completes

Nick Myall
Friday 08 Jan 2016

The tallest building in China and the second-tallest building in the world, designed by Gensler, has completed

The Shanghai tower in China was finished towards the end of 2015 and stands 632 metres tall, becoming only the third building in the world to achieve “megatall” (600-plus metres) status. 

Designed by American architects Gensler, the Chinese architect Jun Xia led the design team on the project.

As Shanghai is on a seismic belt and the construction site is in a river basin, a firm foundation for this skyscraper was critical. To firm up the ground, engineers first put 980 foundation piles underground to a depth of 282 ft, and then poured 2.15 m cubic feet of concrete to set a 20 ft thick baseboard for anchoring the main building.

As the third tower in the trio of signature skyscrapers at the heart of Shanghai’s Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, Shanghai Tower embodies a new prototype for tall buildings. Placed in close proximity to Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center, the new tower soars high above the skyline, its curved façade and spiralling form symbolizing the dynamic emergence of modern China. 

But its twisting form goes beyond just creating a unique appearance; wind tunnel tests confirm a 24% savings in structural wind loading when compared to a rectangular building of the same height.

The tower twists about one degree per floor to offset the wind effect at higher altitude helping the  super tall building withstand Shanghai’s frequent typhoons.

The tower also incorporates numerous green architecture elements and its owners have received certifications from the China Green Building Committee and the U.S. Green Building Council for the building's sustainable design.

The tower sports two glass facades, an inner one and an outer one, like overlapping "tubes". The space between the two "tubes" varies from 3 to 33 feet wide, providing more public space inside the building. In the meantime, the space functions as a heat insulation layer like in a thermos flask. This is environment-friendly and costing less.

The tower’s program is unique for being organized into nine vertical zones. Each of these “vertical neighbourhoods” rise from a sky lobby, a light-filled garden atrium that creates a sense of community and supports daily life with a varied program catering to tenants and visitors.


Nick Myall

News Editor

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