International : Tallest Building in China Breaks Ground

Shangai Tower

Design completes super-tall district, showcases sustainable public space.

Shanghai (Vocus) November 28, 2008 -- Groundbreaking ceremonies held today mark the start of construction on Shanghai Tower. The 632-meter building designed by Gensler, a leading global architectural design firm, advances sustainable design strategies and gives prominence to public spaces. The Shanghai Tower Construction & Development Co., Ltd., is the project’s developer. Thornton Tomasetti structural engineers, Cosentini Associates mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineers and the Architectural Design and Research Institute of Tongji University as the Local Design Institute will support Gensler. The development is slated for completion in 2014.

Shanghai Tower is located in the Luijiazui Finance and Trade Zone, an area of Shanghai that was farmland eighteen years ago. The district is poised to become China’s first super-tall district, as Shanghai Tower rises to complete a trio of towers including the adjacent Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center (WFC).

Together, these three will form a new icon on Shanghai’s skyline. While the design of the Jin Mao Tower pays homage to China’s past, and the WFC’s design signifies China’s recent economic growth, Shanghai Tower’s design is a beacon of China’s future.

“This tower is symbolic of a nation whose future is filled with limitless opportunities,” said Qingwei Kong, President of Shanghai Tower Construction & Development Co., Ltd. “With Shanghai Tower we celebrate not only China’s economic success and increasing connection to the global community, but also our company’s commitment to developing properties that demonstrate the highest, noblest and most exquisite design achievements possible.”

Shanghai Tower will house Class-A office space, retail, a luxury hotel and cultural venues. The uppermost floors will feature the world’s highest non-enclosed observation deck. The tower’s podium building will offer a high-end retail environment with a major event space. Below-grade facilities include retail, connections to the Shanghai Metro and three floors of parking.

“We hope Shanghai Tower inspires new ideas about what sustainable tall buildings can be,” said Art Gensler, FAIA, Chairman of Gensler. “We’ve lined the perimeter of the tower, top to bottom, with public spaces, and we’ve integrated strategic environmental thinking into every move. The tower is a stage that comes to life through the presence of people.”

Tower Composition

Shanghai Tower is organized as nine cylindrical buildings stacked one atop another. The inner layer of the double-skin façade encloses the stacked buildings, while a triangular exterior layer creates the second skin, or building envelope, which gently rotates as it rises. The spaces between the two façade layers create nine atrium sky gardens. Much like plazas and civic squares in traditional cities, the sky atria offer spaces within Shanghai Tower for interaction and community with restaurants, cafés, coffee shops and convenience stores, as well as lush landscaping.

With sky gardens lining the tower’s perimeter, Shanghai Tower is literally wrapped in public spaces. Both interior and exterior skins are transparent, establishing a visual connection between the tower’s interiors and Shanghai’s urban fabric. At night the building’s glowing translucent form further highlights interior public spaces.

On the ground level, retail and event spaces, in tandem with abundant entrances on the site, further the physical and visual connections between the tower and the city.

Sustainable Strategies

In accordance with the goals of the Shanghai Tower Construction and Development Co., Ltd., the tower will be one of the most sustainable tall buildings in the world. Working closely with Thornton Tomasetti and Cosentini, Gensler adopted a fully integrated design approach, ensuring all design decisions uphold a sustainable intent.

The façade’s taper, texture and asymmetry work in partnership to reduce wind loads on the building by 24 percent, offering considerable savings overall in both building materials and construction costs. In addition, the building’s spiraling parapet collects rainwater, which is used for the tower’s heating and air conditioning systems.

Wind turbines located directly beneath the parapet generate on-site power. The landscaped atria improve indoor air quality and create comfortable places for people to linger. Shanghai Tower’s owners aim to register for a high level of building certification from the China Green Building Committee and the U.S. Green Building Council.

About Gensler

Gensler is a global architectural design, planning, and strategic consulting firm with more than 2800 professionals networked across 31 offices on five continents. Consistently ranked by U.S. and international industry surveys as the leading architecture and interior design firm, Gensler leverages its deep resources and diverse expertise to develop design solutions for industries across the globe. Since 1965, Gensler has collaborated with clients to create environments that enhance organizational performance, achieve measurable business goals, and enrich people and communities. For its longstanding commitment to the advancement of sustainable design, Gensler received the Leadership Award from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2005. Gensler began work in China in the 1980s and currently has a staff of more than 122 professionals (80 of whom are Chinese nationals) working in its Shanghai and Beijing offices. To augment local staff, designers from Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, New York, Washington D.C. and San Francisco joined Chinese colleagues to design the project in Shanghai.

About The Architectural Design and Research Institute of Tongji University

The Architectural Design and Research Institute of Tongji University, founded in 1958, is one of the leading design groups in China offering a comprehensive range of disciplines. The ADRI holds design certificates issued by the State Ministry of Construction for China in architecture, municipal engineering, bridge engineering, highway engineering, geotechnical investigation, geology, landscaping, environmental engineering, civil air defense and cultural relic protection. The ADRI also holds an Engineering Consulting Certificate issued by the State Planning Committee. The Design Institute has developed its strength in design, manpower and technology through its 50 years of experience. It employs 1700 professionals including 146 State First Class Registered Architects and 159 State First Class Registered Structural Engineers. It has won nearly 300 prizes for its design work over the past 20 years. Affiliated with a well known university, the Design Institute has a tradition in architectural education and has successfully collaborated with many well-known design firms from the United States, Canada, Germany, France and Spain.

About Shanghai Tower Construction & Development Co., Ltd.

Formed on December 5, 2007, the Shanghai Tower Construction & Development Co., Ltd., represents an equity partnership between the Shanghai Chengtou Corp., the Luijiazui Finance & Trade Zone Development Co., Ltd., and the Shanghai Construction Group. These three shareholders are jointly funding the development and construction of Shanghai Tower with registered capital of RMB 5.4 billion. Driven to pursue the “highest, noblest and most exquisite” design and development objectives for Shanghai Tower, the corporation is leveraging more than 10 years of construction management and market expertise to deliver a landmark building worthy of Shanghai’s place on the world stage.

About Thornton Tomasetti

Thornton Tomasetti has a reputation for technical expertise in optimizing building systems to reduce costs, simplify erection procedures and speed up construction. We are internationally recognized for our ability to innovate in order to meet a project’s special requirements, whether financial or functional. Thornton Tomasetti provides engineering services to clients worldwide on buildings of all sizes and complexity. From the tallest buildings and the longest spans, to innovative building systems and materials, the firm is committed to creating the best solutions through its technical ingenuity, pursuit of excellence, and esponsiveness to client needs.

Founded in 1956, Thornton Tomasetti is a 650-person organization of engineers and architects collaborating from offices across the United States and in Shanghai, Hong Kong, London, Moscow and the Middle East.

About Cosentini

Cosentini Associates is an international consulting engineering firm specializing in mechanical, electrical, sanitary and fire protection engineering, as well as LEED design and facilitation, and specialty information technologies, audiovisual, security and lighting design. The firm has been in continuous practice since 1952 and employs over 400 professionals in offices throughout the world. Working closely with leading architects, Cosentini has participated in the design of many of the world’s most innovative and celebrated buildings of the past several decades. The firm enjoys a global reputation for its ability to find innovative solutions to complex technical problems and to engineer environments that exceed clients’ expectations for energy efficiency, first and operating costs and system reliability. Cosentini was one of the first consulting firms in the country to join the U.S. Green Building Council; the firm’s commitment to sustainable design is evidenced in a portfolio of over 50 LEED-certified projects and over 100 new projects in the process of obtaining LEED certification.

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Contact: Lisa_Beazley(at) 646-573-4691