The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) recently announced that the Ping An Finance Center in China’s Shenzhen city is now officially the second tallest building in the country, after the famous Shanghai Tower.
Its height of 599 meters (1,965.2ft) also officially makes it the fourth tallest in the world, CTBUH said.
Burj Khalifa still reigns supreme, followed by Shanghai Tower and the Makkah Royal Clock Tower.
The new tower in Shenzhen is designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates and developed by Ping An Finance Center Construction & Development. It takes shape in the heart of the city’s Futian District and features a large public atrium at its base to create lifestyle destination for the vicinity, with stores, restaurants and transit connections.
Above the hyper-connected podium, the tower provides state-of-the-art office space for its owner, the Ping An Life Insurance Company as well as other tenants.
The tower takes on a taught steel cable shape, which seemingly stretches out to the sky and the ground at once. At the top, the façade tapers to form a pyramid, giving the tower a prismatic aesthetic look.
According to the architect, the form is emphasised by eight composite mega-columns that extrude beyond the building envelope. This design aims to go beyond being visually appealing, to also be practical as the streamlined shape of the tower improves both structural and wind performance, reducing baseline wind loads by as much as 35%.
The Ping An Finance Centre is said have the largest stainless steel façade in the world to date, using a total of 1,700 tonnes of 316L stainless steel. This material was chosen specifically for this project because it is corrosion-resistant, which will keep the appearance of the Ping An Finance Center unchanged for several decades despite Shenzhen’s salty coastal environment.
Although the building topped out on April 30, 2015 and was already hailed the second tallest skyscraper in China, CTBUH’s official assessment was only completed earlier this year, confirming that it has met all the necessary requirements.
Earlier, there were plans to add a 60-metre antenna at the top of the building in an attempt to surpass the Shanghai Tower and become the tallest building in China. However, this plan was subsequently abandoned.
In February 2015, it was decided that the proposed antenna could obstruct flight paths and pose a potential hazard.