Ping An Finance Center, a 599-metre (1965-foot) skyscraper in Shenzhen is now officially China’s second tallest building. The Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed megatall in the city’s Futian district now ranks just behind the 632-metre Shanghai Tower among the mainland’s loftiest erections, as China continues to push for its place on the world architectural stage.
Built to serve as the headquarters for Chinese financial giant Ping An Insurance, the Ping An Finance Center was certified as complete (and really tall) this week by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), a non-profit industry group.
Building a Stainless Steel Pyramid
Although the tower topped out in 2014, it only officially surpassed the 100-storey KK100 as Shenzhen’s tallest when it received its certification from the CTBUH. The building, which combines office, hotel and retail spaces within its structure is also the fourth tallest tower in the world, behind only the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Shanghai Tower, and the Makkah Royal Clock Tower in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Developed by Ping An Finance Center Construction & Development and built by China Construction First Building Group, the tower tapers to form a pyramid near the top, and features eight composite megacolumns that extrude beyond the building envelope. The streamlined shape of the tower improves both structural and wind performance, reducing baseline wind loads by 35 percent, according to its designers
The tower is adorned by the largest stainless steel façade in the world to date, using a total of 1,700 tons of 316L stainless steel, which also protects the building against Shenzhen’s salty coastal atmosphere.
Shenzhen Becoming Skyscraper Central
As its real estate boom moves ahead China is quickly becoming the country of tall buildings, with Shenzhen replacing New York as the skyscraper’s home town.
84 out of the 128 buildings of 200 metres more in height completed during 2016 were located in China, according to the CTBUH, giving the Middle Kingdom more than 65 percent of the total in what was the largest annual crop of skyscrapers ever.
Shenzhen by itself completed more buildings of 200 metres or more in height last year than any country except China. The city just across the border from Hong Kong completed 11 skyscrapers in 2016, or more than the US and Australia combined.
Unfortunately for Ping An, Shenzhen’s love of height could make for a short-lived stay as the owner of the city’s tallest building. The Kingkey Group, which developed the recently deposed KK100, has already announced plans to develop a 739-metre tower in the city’s Luohu district. Plans for the unnamed project, which would surpass the Shanghai Tower as China’s loftiest, are still said to be the early stages.