When completed in 2014, Shanghai Tower will anchor one of East Asia’s leading financial centers: the Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone. Designed by a local team of Gensler architects to embody Shanghai’s rich culture, the 632-meter-tall, mixed-use building will complete the city’s super high-rise precinct. It is the most forward-looking of the three towers symbolizing Shanghai’s past, present, and future. By incorporating sustainable design best practices, Shanghai Tower is at the forefront of a new generation of super high-rise towers.
Follow Shanghai Tower's construction progress at the GenslerOn blog.
Gensler’s vision for Shanghai Tower has taken tangible form after completion of the immense foundation. The clay-based soils in Shanghai meant supporting the tower on 831 reinforced concrete bore piles sunk deep into the ground. For three days, an army of workers assembled to complete the marathon concrete pour of the six-meter-thick mat foundation.
The tower’s scale and complexity have created so many “firsts” for China’s construction industry that more than 100 expert panels have been established to analyze every aspect of the design. Workers are busy building forms for the concrete core and erecting the gigantic composite supercolumns that will provide structural support for the tower.
The Lujiazui zone in Shanghai has transformed from farmland to financial center in two decades, resulting in a skyline and architectural landscape that need a unifying landmark. With a rounded triangular footprint derived both from the bend in the nearby Huangpu River and from its relationship to the Jin Mao Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai Tower will be a signature icon for the city of Shanghai.
“This tower is symbolic of a nation whose future is filled with limitless opportunities,” said Mr. Qingwei Kong, President of the Shanghai Tower Construction & Development Co., Ltd., a consortium made up of a government-based developer, a public landowner, and a construction group.
Gensler won the Shanghai Tower project in an invited multi-stage competition among leading international architects. What secured the win were the tower’s design and performance, and Gensler’s commitment to China.
To refine the tower’s shape, Gensler’s team used a series of wind tunnel tests to simulate the region’s greatest natural force, the typhoon. Results produced a structure and shape that reduce wind loads by 24 percent — ultimately yielding a savings of $58 million in construction costs.
Shanghai Tower is a city within a city comprising nine vertical zones, each 12 to 15 stories high. With its emphasis on public space and its shops, restaurants, and other urban amenities strategically located at the floors with public atria, Shanghai Tower envisions a new way of inhabiting super-tall towers.
Each of the building’s neighborhoods rises from a “sky lobby," a light-filled garden atrium that creates a sense of community. Offices will occupy central floors, while the upper floors will house hotels, cultural venues and an observation deck with sweeping views of the Shanghai skyline. A six-story retail podium concentrates shopping and dining near the base, with the ground floor serving as an “urban market.”
Both gateway and connector, the tower's retail podium will be a world-class destination for shoppers, office workers and hotel guests. Clad in luminous cast-glass tiles, the podium incorporates a mix of premium brands, specialty retailers and high-concept dining.
The retail complex comprises two distinct zones whose organization makes for easy navigation. Most people will enter from the subway into a lower-level concourse that functions like a marketplace. The podium’s upper four levels house luxury retail. Slicing through both zones is a five-story atrium that opens toward the city, making an important visual connection between inside and out.
As a global leader in sustainable design, Gensler has tailored Shanghai Tower to be one of the most advanced tall buildings in the world — designed to achieve both LEED Gold certification and a China Green Building Three Star rating.
A central aspect of the strategy is the transparent, second skin that wraps the entire building. The ventilated atria it encloses conserve energy by modulating the temperature within the void. The building incorporates state-of-the-art water resource management practices and high-efficiency building systems. The design team seeks out locally sourced materials with high-recycled content. And the building’s heating and cooling systems tap the power of geothermal technology.
Location: Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, Pudong district, Shanghai, China
Area: 30,370 square meters
Height: 632 meters
Stories: 121 occupied floors
Area Above Grade: 380,000 square meters
Area Below Grade: 141,000 square meters
Program: Office, luxury hotel, entertainment, retail and cultural venues
Height: 36.9 meters
Stories: 5 stories above grade
Area: 46,000 square meters
Program: Luxury retail, bank, restaurant, conference, meeting, and banquet functions. Below-grade levels will house retail, 1,800 parking spaces, service, and MEP functions.
Owner, Developer, Contractor
Shanghai Tower Construction & Development Co., Ltd.
Local Design Institute
Architectural Design & Research Institute of Tongji University
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