Shanghai Tower is officially the world’s second tallest building standing at 632 metres high. Positioned loud and proud in Pudong, it is the third, tallest instalment to join a series of buildings within the area, the Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Centre.

According to Fast Company, the building designed by Gensler is more like a “vertical city.” It is divided into nine 12-15 storey sections that have been allocated to hotels, offices, retail space and observation towers. It has 521,000 metres squared of floor space, 106 elevators and the ability to hold 30,000 people (hence the description of a city). However its most celebrated feature and achievement is that one third of the entire structure is dedicated and reserved to green space.

According to Dan Winey of Gensler’s Asia division, Shanghai is historically a city of parks and this is reflected in the towers design. The building is home to a city style park on every 14th floor and has three fourteen story atrium spaces. The perimeter is lined with sky gardens as well as a transparent second skin that draws in outside air from the bottom. The skin is sensitive to the seasons, it will cool the air in summer and warm in winter.

The idea behind the sustainable elements of the building is to draw people into the building with the lure of the cafes and culture events that will be present in the green areas and will have specific themes. For example one park being tropical and another that exhibitions native grasses. Essential to the buildings sustainability is its verticality, Winey explained to Fast Company;

When you’re talking about putting that many people on that size of a site–in Shanghai, there are 27 million people spread all over. The idea of going more vertical, to tie buildings together on vertical planes is [the biggest] urban sustainability idea. You could have an entire city of sustainable buildings and not have a sustainable city.”

The building has also been designed to symbolise the emergence of China and the development of Shanghai as a major financial centre. It is still in the construction phase with a completion date still to be released.

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