In 2008 Gensler broke ground on the sustainable Shanghai Tower in the Pudong district of Shanghai, China. The tower is currently in construction and it’s one of three supertall buildings in Pudong, including the Jin Mao Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Center. The elegant structure spirals up to the sky, and once it is completed in 2014 it will become the second tallest tower in the world — only second to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The 632 meter tall structure is a testament to both modern architecture and the potential of engineering, and it also sets a precedent for sustainable super structures. The tower will take the form of nine cylindrical buildings stacked atop each other, enclosed by layers of glass, and hosting public space for visitors including atriums, gardens, cafes, restaurants, retail space, a hotel, and 360-degree views of the city. The building will also include a rainwater recycling system and a series of wind turbines able to generate up to 350,000 kWh of electricity per year. But most notably, the tower’s glass façade was designed specifically to reduce wind loads on the building by 24%, which means that fewer construction materials are needed (including 25% less structural steel). We recently spoke to Gensler‘s Chris Chan, Design Director and member of the tower’s design team, who gave us some insight on what it has taken to get the Shanghai Tower built, and how Building Information Modeling (BIM) has played a crucial role from concept to construction. Jump ahead for our fascinating interview with Chris!
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