KPF Defines Shanghai’s Skyline as 70 Million Gear up to Visit in 2010

Press Release:
[Hong Kong – June 16, 2010] With an estimated 70 million people expected to visit the Shanghai Expo this year, Shanghai is certain to be the center of the world’s focus. While the city epitomizes China’s unprecedented growth, it also demonstrates the outstanding innovation of international architect firm Kohn Pedersen Fox. With the design of countless world-famous projects, including the Shanghai World Financial Center and Plaza 66 towers, KPF has played a major role defining Shanghai’s skyline and dense urban environment.

As one of the fastest-growing cities in the world, Shanghai has dramatically transformed over recent years. With a diverse range of projects there and numerous clients across different sectors, KPF has been integral to this transformation. Now, as the Expo continues, KPF breaks new ground with a string of high-profile projects that will play an important role in the progression of China’s financial capital as a world city. In response to the challenges of population density and rapid urban expansion, KPF continues to plan inner-city development and the construction of key projects. By leading the design of structures vital to the city’s growth, KPF assists significantly in the direction of city planning.

“2010, even more so than previous years, has put Shanghai on the international map. Its fast development into a major world city has led to its status as a global financial hub; yet it is still known for its unique culture and as a focal point of exciting modern architecture,” said Paul Katz, President, KPF.

Since designing its first project, Plaza 66 in 2001, KPF has had increasing involvement in Shanghai’s development. With the establishment of offices in the Xintiandi district in 2008, the renowned architecture firm has continued to broaden its portfolio in the city with a diverse range of projects, including master planning and design.

Located on central Shanghai’s busiest street, Nanjing Xi Lu, Plaza 66 provides a mix of retail, entertainment, office and parking space. Set behind the 5-storey retail podium, the distinctive curved design of the 288-meter Tower I of Plaza 66 is an established landmark on the famous Shanghai skyline. KPF completed the adjacent 223-meter Tower II in 2007, adding 81,000 square meters of high-demand office space, which is also curved in a sweeping gesture towards its taller neighbor.

The completion of the award-winning Shanghai World Financial Center in 2008 redefined the city’s famous skyline, and KPF’s presence there. The design of the 101-storey skyscraper is characterized by the tower’s Sky Walk, which offers visitors the chance to literally walk almost 500 meters above the city.

Most recently, KPF conceived Wheelock Square and the much-anticipated Xintiandi Hotels. Wheelock Square is another super-tall office tower, instantly recognizable by its unique split form. Located opposite Jing An Park, the 61-storey skyscraper rises from a square, stone base to 270 meters, where its glass curtain wall extends as a series of planes, rising as they depart from the sculpted corner. KPF also led the design of the 5-star Xintiandi Hotels (The Langham Xintiandi and Jumeriah Hantang Xintiandi). The innovative design for the two hotels responds to the low-rise character of the world-renowned, historic district – blending old and new, the hotels’ warm-grey stone cladding and low level podiums create a dialogue within the architectural context.

“It has been fascinating to watch Shanghai grow over the past 10 years, and we are honored that KPF has added to that. We have drawn on the rich cultural heritage and the long-standing architectural traditions of this historical city. From our offices, we can see several of our projects. It’s exciting to see how they’ve changed the city’s urban fabric,” added Katz.

Demonstrating unparalleled expertise in planning within dense urban environments, KPF is currently coordinating the master plan of lots 126 and 127 of Taipingqiao, revitalizing a derelict residential site into the area’s ‘Corporate Avenue.’ KPF is also the lead architect for several major inner-city projects currently under construction, including: the Jing-An Kerry Centre – the landmark structure for a 3.4 million square foot development; the Kerry Centre in Pudong; and X3-2 – a mixed-use tower modeled around an open-air courtyard. Designed to enhance natural light and ventilation, the flexible approach to the multiple-core design for X3-2 facilitates an environmental agenda.

Other completed projects by KPF in Shanghai include the AZIA Center and Mirae Asset Tower in Pudong, as well as the CSCEC Tower on Century Avenue.

Timeline of KPF’s projects in Shanghai:

  • Plaza 66 Tower I (2001)
  • AZIA Center (2005)
  • Pudong Shangri-La (2005)
  • Plaza 66 Tower II (2007)
  • Mirae Asset Tower (2008)
  • CSCEC Tower (2008)
  • Shanghai World Financial Center (2008)
  • Wheelock Square (2010)
  • Shangri-La Pudong Kerry Centre (2010)
  • Xintiandi Hotels (2010)
  • Jing An Kerry Centre and Shangri-La (Under construction)
  • X3-2 (Under construction)

About KPF
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates is an international practice headquartered in New York, with offices in London, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul, and Abu Dhabi. The firm provides architectural design, programming, urban design, master planning and graphic design services for clients in both the public and private sectors. Our extensive portfolio, developed over more than 33 years, includes a wide range of projects, from civic and cultural spaces to hotel, residential and office towers to educational and laboratory facilities. KPF’s strong body of work has garnered over 300 awards and earned the firm recognition as one of the most respected architectural design practices in the world.

KPF was founded on the principles of design excellence, principal commitment, and superior management with the goal of providing outstanding services to our clients, meeting budget and schedule objectives while achieving architectural distinction. Driven by design intent, not a predetermined style, we strive to create structures that are intimately connected to function and context while incorporating a degree of finesse and detail that elevates them to the highest level of beauty and practicality.