It’s been almost six years since Gensler broke ground on its Shanghai Tower in China, and today the world's second tallest building is nearing completion. Scheduled to open in early 2015, the 632-meter-tall (2.073 feet) structure enveloped in layers of glass will boast state-of-the-art wind turbine technology, a rainwater recycling system, geothermal energy, and it aims to achieve LEED-gold status and a three-star certification from the China Green Building Committee. It may not be as tall as the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, but it definitely has better green credentials!
Once it’s finished, the tower will become China’s tallest building and the world’s second tallest building. Located on an ex-golf course in Shanghai’s fast-growing Pudong District, the tower will have two of the world’s tallest buildings as neighbors-the Jin Mao Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Center. Thanks to the incredibly fast pace of building supertall structures in China (a new skyscraper is built every five days, according to BBC News), chances are that the Shanghai tower will not keep its world rank for long. According to Gensler, another tower in Shenzhen is scheduled to be completed in a year or two and will be several meters taller.
Gensler participated in an international design competition in 2007 among nine other firms from around the world and was shortlisted in the second round, together with SOM and Foster & Partners. By winning the competition, the company was granted the chance to realize a design whose innovative utilization of wind power pushes the envelope when it comes to building tall.
Thanks to its curved shape, the tower can withstand a peak wind load of about 114 miles per hour. It does so by swaying in heavy winds, with the twisted shape minimizing the force of the wind. Its double skin system keeps it cool in the summer and preserves heat in the winter.
Photos by Nick Almasy Photography