Towers are getting taller by the day. Gensler has just completed the twisting Shanghai Tower, which has received official recognition as the tallest building in China and the second-tallest building in the world by The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). The 632-meter tall tower pushed Chicago’s 442-meter Willis Tower out of the Top 10 list for the first time since it was completed in 1974. The sustainably-built skyscraper features a high-performance facade, sky gardens, rainwater collection systems and wind turbines, among several other sustainable technologies.
The Shanghai tower broke ground back in 2008, as the third tower in the trio of skyscrapers located in Shanghai’s Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone. Its curved façade and spiraling form is meant to symbolize the dynamic emergence of modern China, but more importantly, it is meant to enable significant savings in structural wind loads. According to wind tunnel tests, the Shanghai Tower exhibits a 24 per cent savings in structural wind loading when compared to a rectangular building of the same height. The sustainable strategies incorporated in the construction of the Shanghai Tower are expected to curb the building’s carbon footprint by 34,000 metric tons per year.
The tower is organized around nine vertical zones as “vertical neighborhoods” that rise from a sky lobby. A garden atrium, filled with light thanks to the building’s transparent inner and outer skins that admit maximum natural daylight, creates a sense of community. The tower also has the world’s fastest elevators with Mitsubishi-designed double-height cabs.
Images by Gensler