50 PM NETWORK OC TOBER 2015 WWW.PMI.ORG
spheres and glossy skyscrapers punctuate the
skyline in Shanghai, China’s Pudong district. Its
futuristic landscape has provided the backdrop for
death-defying leaps and cataclysmic destruction in
blockbuster action films. But the city’s latest architectural star aimed to test local limits and reach
Designing and building the Shanghai Tower,
the world’s second-tallest building, came with its
own real-life drama. Given the building’s dizzying
height, project managers had to make life-or-death safety decisions and navigate unique short-and long-term construction challenges—all at a
high-speed project pace.
The 632-meter ( 2,073-foot), US$3 billion tower
was designed by Gensler, an architecture firm based
in San Francisco, California, USA.
Delivering on an ambitious design, which
included a virtual curtain wrapping the tower
in glass, required the careful management of an
80-person team and an extended group of worldwide design sub-consultants. Success was due in
part to the co-location of the entire team in Shanghai during the design phase, which accounted for
Shanghai Tower’s ambitious
design includes a virtual curtain
that wraps the tower in glass
and a podium-like base, right.