At 632 metres, the Shanghai Tower has been China’s tallest building since it topped out in 2013, however, if one of Shenzhen’s biggest developers has its way, a new supertall structure in the southern metropolis could soon take the mainland’s loftiest construction title.
Shenzhen Kingkey Group is proposing to develop the 739 metres tower as part of a cluster of supertalls sprouting in Shenzhen’s Caiwuwei financial area in the city’s Luohu district. When complete, the planned structure would be the second or third tallest building in the world, after the 830 metre Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and the Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia, which is planned to reach 1008 metres upon its scheduled completion in 2020.
Kingkey Betting Big on Caiwuwei Area
The as-yet-unnamed tower would be a follow up to Kingkey Group’s Kingkey 100 (also known as the KK100), which was Shenzhen’s tallest building until the 600 metre, 115-storey Ping An Finance Centre topped out earlier this year. The Shenzhen-based developer is the major force behind the Caiwuwei area, where the 442-metre Kingkey 100 is also located.
Kingkey has yet to name a designer for the early stage project. Other details such as the type of space to be developed and the number of floors in the building have also not yet been specified.
Luohu district, which forms a primary gateway between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, is already home to the 69-floor, 384-metre Shun Hing Square, and is planning 100 urban renewal projects as the southern Chinese city continues to develop its service sector. In all, district authorities are planning to build more than 20 million square metres of new real estate projects, according to a report in mainland media portal Netease.
Since first designated a city in 1979, Shenzhen has grown from a population of 30,000 to a metro area of over 18 million and in the last two years the city just across the border from Hong Kong has seen some of the most rapid increases in real estate values and economic growth.
Earlier statements from the Luohu government had declared plans to build a 666 metre tower, although it is not clear if Kingkey’s recently announced supertall is a separate project, or a revision of those earlier plans.
Separating Plans From Reality Among China’s Supertalls
While China has produced some supertall successes, including the 100-storey Shanghai World Financial Centre, and the Shanghai Tower, other plans for world-topping towers have failed to produce much more than holes in the ground.
City officials in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province, in 2012 approved plans for the 838-metre Sky City project in the southern Chinese city, only to backtrack in the face of central government inquiries into the project’s economic and technical feasibility. The site of Sky City, on the outskirts of Changsha, was declared a protected wetland earlier this year and few hold out hope of the project ever being completed.
Slightly farther north, officials in Wuhan – the capital of Hubei province – have given the nod to the Phoenix Towers, a pair of futuristic supertalls designed to reach more than a kilometre into the air when plans were first announced in 2014. The mixed-use project is being designed by Chetwoods Architects of the UK in partnership with China’s HuaYan Group. However, despite being originally planned for completion in 2018, construction has yet to begin on the $1.8 billion development.