Shanghai Municipal Investment’s savvy city in the sky.
Shanghai Tower will anchor the city’s Lujiazui district, which has emerged as one of East Asia’s leading financial centers. Designed by a local team of Gensler architects to embody Shanghai’s rich culture, the 2,073-foot-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. The new tower takes inspiration from Shanghai’s tradition of parks and neighborhoods. Its curved facade and spiraling form symbolize the dynamic emergence of modern China. By incorporating sustainable best practices, Shanghai Tower is at the forefront of a new generation of super-high-rise towers, achieving the highest level of performance and offering unprecedented community access.
From the Ground Up
Gensler’s vision for Shanghai Tower has taken tangible form after completion of the immense foundation. Soil conditions in Shanghai (a clay-based mixture typical of a river delta) meant supporting the tower on 831 reinforced concrete bore piles sunk deep into the ground. For three days, a small army of workers assembled to complete the marathon, 60-hour continuous concrete pour. When the job was finished, more than 2.2 million cubic feet of concrete had been used to create the 20-foot 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 (measuring 16 x 13 feet at the base and reinforced with steel plates that weigh 160 tons each) that will provide structural support for the tower. Gensler designed an innovative curtain wall that is suspended from the mechanical floors above and stabilized by a system of hoop rings and struts to carry the load of the transparent glass skin. The strategic division of the tower into nine vertical zones will supply the lifeblood of the building’s heating, cooling, water, and power throughout with less energy and at lower cost.
Shanghai Tower is a city within a city comprising of nine vertical zones, each 12 to 15 stories high. Each zone is encircled by public space within the double-skin facade. Within each neighborhood, a mix of uses caters to the daily needs of occupants. Separate elevators shuttle people among zones, and below-grade parking links via walkways to the nearby super-highrise towers.
The highest of the nine zones houses public amenities; gourmet restaurants, an exhibition center, and enclosed and open observation decks served by the tallest singlelift elevators in the world.
Zones 2 through 6 comprise high-performance office, all of which are filled with natural light and connected to the atriums with expansive views of the city.
Each office zone rises from a sky lobby at its base-a light filled garden atrium that fosters community and supports daily life. Shops and restaurants in each lobby lower the demand for trips to the ground level, which saves energy.
Zone 1 is the base-level retail podium of luxury boutiques, high-end dining destinations, cafes, and lounges. The hotel’s conference, banquet, and spa facilities also occupy space in the six-story podium.
Both the office tower and the hotel/conference center functions will be accessed through separate, dedicated lobbies rendered at a scale fitting to the tower.