As the race to reach the top continues with cities around the world commissioning high-rise structures, the latest to join the fray is Pin An Finance Centre, a 599m skyscraper in Shenzhen by architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, which is now the fourth tallest tower in the world. Offering sky lobbies and topped by an observation deck with panoramic views of the city, it fails to make it to the club of megatall towers, an exclusive league for skyscrapers that stand tall at 600m and more. The Shanghai Tower, second tallest in the world, is 632m, followed by the 601-metre Makkah Royal Clock Tower in Mecca.
Located in the Futian business district, the glass and stone skyscraper is the headquarters of Chinese insurance company Ping An. It comprises 100 floors of offices for the company’s 15,500 employees, as well as an observation deck, which is expected to receive 9,000 visitors daily.
The skyscraper features chevron-shaped columns along the four corners of the building, which narrows towards the faceted enclosure of the viewing deck on top and a wider base at the street level. The tapered form of the stone and glass building is designed to reduce wind load on the structure by 40%.
Stainless steel piers have also been incorporated to help the structure withstand Shenzhen’s predominantly wet climate and frequent lightning strikes. Shops and a large conference lobby occupy the first five levels that stagger away from the building to form the podium level. A central atrium with glazed walls lets in natural light.