Architecture, China, Gensler, Second tallest tower in the world, Shanghai, Shanghai Tower, Skyscraper, Supertall tower

World’s second tallest tower designed by Gensler opens in Shanghai

Gensler-designed Shanghai Tower is now open- becoming the world’s second tallest building, as well as being the tallest structure in China.

The tower’s skin is made up of 20,000 curtain wall panels that are suspended from above on cantilevered trusses.

The supertall tower rises 632 m (2,073 ft) featuring 127 floors, comprised of nine vertical zones that range between 12 and 15 stories, located in the city’s financial district.

The architects conceived the mixed-use tower as a self contained city, inspired by Shanghai’s small-scale courtyards that have been reinterpreted within a spiraling form.

“Instead of parks spread horizontally across the city, the tower provides gathering spaces stacked vertically,” the architects said.

“These are the innovative sky gardens that set the building apart from any high rise ever built. By emphasising public space and locating shops, restaurants and urban amenities at the atrium levels, Shanghai Tower provides a new experience for living and working in supertall towers.”

Image courtesy of Connie Zhou (as well as main feature image)

Featuring a ‘central trunk’ made up of a concrete core and steel columns, the building’s ‘branches’ support the refuge and mechanical floors at the base of each of the nine zones.

Within the tower’s zoning system, zone one comprises retail and conference spaces, while zones two to six are made up of offices. Zones seven and eight contain hotels and boutique outlets, and zone nine is the observation level.

Image courtesy of Connie Zhou

The building’s asymmetric form and tapered profile that is rounded in the corner helps withstand the strong winds common to the region – reducing wind loads up to 24% and saving a cost of $58m in materials.

Image courtesy of Blackstation

Sustainability was also taken into consideration when designing the tower, in terms of water conservation as well as integrated landscaping.

Insulation and the reduction of heating and cooling was achieved with the building’s transparent second skin, with glass limiting the need for electric heating, relying further on natural lighting. 270 wind turbines built into the facade at the crown of the building powers the exterior lighting.