Author: Trevor Charles
Despite the USA and China trade war, the Asian giant continues to be an important destination for many American businessman. In fact, China continues to be interested in American affairs and culture, such as the NFL betting market, as the commissioner Roger Godell explained in a recent interview. However, if there is one ‘sport’ where China is leading by miles is in building modern infrastructures and enormous skyscrapers.
Architecture has come quite a long way since the first ‘skyscraper’- the 10 story Home Insurance Building in Chicago completed in 1885. Now we have ‘supertall skyscrapers,’a term coined to describe buildings with a height of over 300m (984ft). In 2018, the battle for the skies continued fiercely with 18 new supertall skyscrapers making a debut worldwide, a record number for one year.
China, unrelenting with its thirst for dominating the world skyline, led this battle with 11 out of these 18 spots.In fact, according to the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), China built more skyscrapers in 2018 than any other country in the world.
Of the 42 supertall skyscrapers currently under construction in various parts of the world, 25 of them are in China. So, without further ado, let’s talk about the 5 new supertall skyscrapers dominating China’s skyline between 2018-2020.
1. CITIC Tower Beijing
Also known as China Zun, this mega building standing at 528m is the 8thtallest building in the world and currently the tallest in Beijing. Construction started in 2013 and took 5 years.
Citic Tower’s form was designed to resemble an ancient Chinese ritual vessel called “zun,” often used in traditional ceremonies. This shape was chosen to symbolizeChinese culture blending with technology. Most importantly, it represents the Chinese belief that “heaven is a circle and earth is a square”- hence the use of circles and squares in the architecture to provide a solid and stable base.
The architects of this supertall building used a series of anti-lateral force structural systems to fortify it, ensuring that it can withstand an 8.0 intensity earthquake.
This mixed-use building features 60 floors of office space and 20 floors of luxury apartments. The building incorporated into the design is 20 floors of hotel rooms.
Beijing has set aside a 30hectare new central business district on the east side where the Citic Tower acts as the anchor. Eventually,dozens of other skyscrapers between 150-300m will be built in the area.
2. China Resources Headquarters- Shenzhen
Located in the center of Houhai district in Shenzhen this 400m tall supertall skyscraper is the 27th tallest building in the world and the third tallest in Shenzhen. Its construction started in 2014 and only took four years to complete.
Overlooking the Shenzhen Bay, this skyscraper’s design was inspired by a winter bamboo shoot, a Chinese delicacy. Its design was intended to portray a ‘geometric boldness’ that showcases China’s pride in its past and future.
One of the unique features of this tower is 56 prefabricated steel columns that allow the buildings office floors to be column free. At the top of the buildings, these steel columns converge into a beautiful diagonal pattern. Another 28 columns converge at the apex to form a 64m sky hall which will be used as an events area.
The mixed-use building with 67 stories will feature offices and acts as an anchor in a large development project that will feature shops, a museum, auditorium, art performance centers as well as public space.
3. Ping An Finance Center- Shenzhen
This supertall skyscraper was completed in December of 2017, and we include it in this list for its sheer size. Located in Futian District in Shenzhen this 599m building is the 4th tallest in the world and the second tallest in all of Asia and China. It was constructed between 2008 and 2017.
The main design of this mega skyscraper is that of a steel cable that forms a pyramid at the top making it to appear like a prism. One of its standout features is the façade, one of the largest in the world made of 1700 tons of stainless steel. The elegant design is a tribute to the history and achievements of Ping An Insurance, the main tenant.
Other than being the headquarters of Ping An Insurance this 115 storey building will feature offices, shops, a shopping mall, a hotel and a conference center. It also features an observation deck on the 112 floor.
4. Goldin Finance 117- Tianjin
This 596m tall ‘walking stick’ is scheduled for completion in 2020. Located in the center of Tianjin CBD this supertall skyscraper will be the tallest and the most prestigious building in this area. Upon its completion it will be one of the tallest buildings in the world.
It is designed like a bejeweled walking stick, characterized by a long slender form with a diamond shaped atrium at the top. It features a rotating observation deck and various sky lobbies located strategically.
The tower is held together by large mega columns located at each of its four corners. While it might appear quite slender by design this skyscraper is in tune with the seismic code and is expected to hold its own even in powerful seismic activity.
With 132 floors this mixed use building will feature office space, villas, convention center, residential area, hotels, retail center and an entertainment space.
5. Tianjin CTF Finance Center- Tianjin
This 530m tall supertall skyscraper is located in heart of the Tianjin Economic – Technological Development area (TEDA). Its construction started in 2013 and is expected to be completed in 2019.
Also known as the Tianjin Chow Tai Fook Binhai Center this building uses curves to feature three distinct elements. Hidden in the glass skin are eight sloping columns that contribute to the buildings sturdiness in response to seismic activity.
The Tianjin CTF Center features 101 floors and once complete will be home to offices, 300 apartments, shops and a 5 starhotel.