Shanghai Tower rises 632 meters to a record height on the Shanghai skyline, the tallest in China. In it, references to nature and Chinese cultural traditions are fused—recast vertically in a form inspired by the traditional lane houses that are unique to Shanghai. Woven carefully into the city’s urban fabric, Shanghai Tower articulates how, by harmonizing with nature, we can build cities with the enduring power to add delight to daily experience.
▼项目概览，project overall view ©Blackstation
▼上海中心的设计垂直地呈现了上海独特的“里弄”布局 ©Connie Zhou
Shanghai Tower draws on the planning concept of Shanghai’s narrow alleys and courtyards in a vertical way
We looked to the city and its neighborhoods for inspiration. Shaped by the curves of the Huangpu River, the layout of Shanghai is dynamic and asymmetrical—qualities we wanted the tower to embody. We were also careful to take note of the Chinese people’s affinity for indoor-outdoor living, a lifestyle reflected in the city houses known as Shikumen, whose narrow alleys and courtyards are a canvas for social life. Shanghai Tower draws on this same planning concept, but applies it vertically rather than horizontally.
▼从上海中心大厦俯瞰黄浦江，aerial view to Huangpu River from Shanghai Tower ©Connie Zhou
▼建筑立面，building facade ©Connie Zhou
In harmony with nature
▼旋转形体，the spiral form ©Blackstation
The spiral form of Shanghai Tower makes that transition by lending a geometrical order to the tower and its reach toward the clouds. The spiral is a well-understood metaphor for the universal rotational force that is the basis of life. It recalls both the form and motion of atoms, which are the smallest elements of physical matter, as well as the vast rotating arms of galaxies. In addition, the upward spiral represents movement through space and time, recalling a time-honored theme in Chinese art, poetry, and theater—the desire to transcend earthly preoccupations by connecting with the heavens.
▼向上旋转攀升，象征着超脱时间与空间， the upward spiral represents movement through space and time ©Blackstation
▼楼层分区示意，zoning of the floors ©Gensler
Shanghai Tower is a city within a city, comprising nine vertical zones, each 12 to 15 stories high. Within each of these neighborhoods, a mix of uses caters to the daily needs of occupants. The innovative sky gardens that set the building apart from any highrise ever built. By emphasizing public space and locating museum, shops, restaurants and urban amenities at the atrium levels, Shanghai Tower provides a new experience for living and working in supertall towers.
▼室内环境，interior view ©Connie Zhou
Tapered, spiral form
▼设计示意，design concept ©Gensler
Gensler’s design team anticipated that three key strategies—the tower’s asymmetrical form, its tapering profile and its rounded corners—would allow the building to withstand the typhoon-force winds that are common in Shanghai. Using wind tunnel tests conducted in a Canadian lab, Gensler and structural engineers Thornton Tomasetti refined the tower’s form, which reduced building wind loads by 24 percent. The result is a lighter structure that saved $58 million in costly materials.
▼不对称形体、锥形建筑轮廓和圆角设计有利于抵御上海常见的台风 ©Connie Zhou
the tower’s asymmetrical form, its tapering profile and its rounded corners would allow the building to withstand the typhoon-force winds that are common in Shanghai
To refine the tower’s shape, the design team conducted a battery of wind tunnel tests to simulate the region’s greatest destructive force, the typhoon. Many alternatives were tested to determine the optimal rotation for the tower’s spiral design, one that would minimize wind loads while achieving a compelling form. The emergence of parametric design platforms enabled the team to study many configurations for the outer skin, which includes more than 20,000 curtain wall panels—and some 7,000 unique shapes. Unlike a more conventional building, in which the walls are built from the ground up, the outer glass wall of Shanghai Tower was most efficiently constructed from the top down within each zone. A system of rods and cables suspended from above solved a difficult design challenge.
▼独特的悬臂吊挂着铁杆的外墙系统， a system of rods and cables suspended from above ©Connie Zhou
▼建筑外观-塔顶，exterior view: the crown of the tower ©Connie Zhou
On the exterior, a deep V-notch in the façade makes the spiraling geometry readily apparent, while deflecting the winds that swirl around the building.
▼外墙的V字形凹槽，the V-notch in the façade ©Blackstation
Best Environmental Practices in View
Shanghai Tower is one of the most advanced sustainable tall buildings in the world, showcasing sustainable technologies as part of its public awareness program. A central aspect of the design is the transparent second skin that insulates the building, reducing energy use for heating and cooling. Gensler’s design leverages state-of-the-art water conservation practices, high-efficiency building systems and its own power generating system for parts of the tower.
▼首层空间外观，ground floor exterior view ©Connie Zhou
Daylighting – The glass skin admits maximum daylight, reducing the need for electric lighting.
▼观光层，observation level ©Connie Zhou
▼玻璃幕墙外观，the glass skin detailed view ©Connie Zhou
景观设计 – 三分之一的空间培有绿植，大面积景观绿化让场地更加清爽。
Landscaping – One-third of the site is green space, with extensive landscaping that cools the grounds.
▼露台景观，the landscaped terrace ©Connie Zhou
▼室内空间景观，interior landscape ©Connie Zhou
双层幕墙 – 外层玻璃帷幕给大厦围裹了一张绝缘层，大大节约了能源消耗。
Double Façade – The buffer space in between acts like an insulating blanket for the tower, which saves energy.
▼双层幕墙局部，double facade partial view ©Blackstation
发电系统 – 大厦外部照明由幕墙内的270个风力发电机提供部分电力。
Generating Power – Exterior lighting for the tower is powered by 270 wind turbines built into the façade.
▼风力发电机，the wind turbines ©Blackstation
Charting the Future of Tall Buildings
Shanghai Tower addresses key issues related to the future of cities. By housing a mix of uses, practicing resource conservation, meshing with regional mass transit and providing human-scaled spaces that add delight to daily experience, the tower presents new ideas for how tall buildings can be sustainable and people-centered.
▼建筑外观夜景，Shanghai Tower by night ©Connie Zhou
▼城市中的上海大厦，Shanghai Tower in its urban context ©Blackstation
Project name: Shanghai Tower
Contact e-mail: email@example.com
Design year & Completion Year: 2016
Leader designer & Team
Project location: Middle Yincheng Road 501#, Pudong New Area, Shanghai
Gross Built Area (square meters): 578,000
Clients: Shanghai Tower Construction and Development Co., Ltd.