FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                                           November 28, 2008


Shanghai Tower’s November 29 Groundbreaking Marks Start of Construction Of

World’s First Double-Skin, Super-Tall Building

View of the project form the Bund

SHANGHAI, China -- With the groundbreaking of the 632-meter (2074-feet),

Shanghai Tower, Shanghai’s tallest building, Marshall Strabala, Director of Design for Gensler,
will achieve another significant milestone in an illustrious design career. With the Shanghai
Tower, the Chicago/Houston/Shanghai-based architectural designer has designed three of the
world’s 10 tallest buildings, including the 160+-story Burj Dubai*, the world’s tallest building
now under construction in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and the 450-meter (1476-feet)
Nanjing Greenland Square Zifeng Tower in Nanjing China, which when completed in 2009, will
be the fifth-tallest building in the world.

         However, Strabala says Shanghai Tower will be different than other super-tall buildings.
“The Shanghai Tower will be a simple dynamic form, where all of its functions are expressed.
This impressive building will focus on sustainability and people. It will be the new iconic
symbol of the ever-changing metropolis of Shanghai, and also represent the future of the
dynamic Chinese spirit. There is no other unique and well-conceived tower like it anywhere in
the world,” he added. The 120-story tower will feature office space, a top-of-the-line hotel, six
levels of retail space, over a dozen restaurants and topped with a public observatory.       The
development will be separated into eight distinct bioclimatic zones, with each having its own
atria. These atria are designed with lush gardens, cafes, restaurants and retail shops. Each
zone will have panoramic 360° views of China’s largest and most populous metropolis. The
idea of these sky gardens is to minimize the elevator travel and create a great place for people
to live, work and meet. Strabala estimates that about 14,000 people daily will use the structure,
so the special amenity-floors coincide with the Elevator Sky lobbies. The internal traffic will
activate and benefit all of the restaurants and cafes. They have estimated that internal elevator
traffic will be reduced about 10 percent.

Shanghai Architecture Treasure
          Strabala has no doubt that when it is finished in 2014, the Shanghai Tower will be
viewed as a city landmark and local treasure. “Looking ahead, Shanghai Tower will be seen as
one of the city’s great architectural treasures, and mentioned in the same breath with the city’s
Yuan Gardens, and the Bund.”
          Shanghai Tower will be located in the Lu Jia Zui section of the city’s Pudong district. It
will be adjacent to, and taller than, two other super-tall buildings, the 421-meter (1380-feet) Jin
Mao and the 492-meter (1614-feet) World Financial Center.                                Together, the buildings are
referred to as the “three brothers,” and are situated east and across the Huangpu River from
the city’s historic Bund area.

(left to right)The central Core, The mega columns, floor plates, the inner skin, the outer wall structure, and the second skin

Green Building Design
          Shanghai Tower also will be the world’s first super-tall building with a “double-skin,”
according to Strabala. Part of an environmentally friendly, “sustainable building” approach, the
tower will have two glass walls designed to reduce overall energy consumption. “Sustainable
building” is the practice of improving the efficiency of how buildings use resources such as
energy, materials and water, while reducing the impact that buildings have during their lifespan
-- on health and the environment.

          Since we spend about 90 percent of our lives inside buildings, this quality of life has
become a very important concern. The inner skin, a relatively simple exterior wall with a high-
performance glazing, forms a series of stacked cylinders.

          In contrast, the outer skin forms a soft triangular shape, which rotates 120 degrees
clockwise as it juts skyward. The form concludes with a top that looks as if the building simply
unwraps and continues upward. The space in-between these two walls, become the atria
          The tower narrows as it rises to about one half of its base dimensions. A continuous
notch or “strike” was added to the west side. This element curves up and around the building,
and is both an element of design and one of function. Strabala uses this “dual” concept on all
of his buildings. The overall building rotation, combined with the strike, makes the building
asymmetrical, which lowers the structural loads by drastically reducing the cross-wind response.
This design ideas, also creates a dramatic architectural element on the facade. “It is not just
aesthetics that makes great buildings, it’s the integration of art and science that make
memorable forms,“ said Strabala.

          “With the double skin, the building will function much like a thermos bottle,” said
Strabala. “This allows us to harvest and use daylight, reduce artificial lighting, and increase the
insulation value of the building’s exterior. In the long-term, we will dramatically reduce energy
consumption and energy costs. We have estimated this reduction at about US$1 million a year
in savings. We are using the next generation of MEP systems called, “Co-Generation,” that we
have updated to “Tri-Gen,” to recall the form of the Shanghai Tower. Expanding on the green
building concept, wind turbines will be placed near the top of the building to generate
electricity from wind power, and a sophisticated collection of rainwater will be used to reduce
dependency on local supply.

          The building will be situated within a 10,000-square meter (107,600 square feet) open
green space that will become both a public park and the front entry to the tower. The project
will seek LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, and strive to reach the
highest level in China: “Three-Star” rating from the Chinese government. Strabala, who has
earned his LEED certification, has incorporated green building concepts in his designs for many
(left to right) The Master Plan of the three Towers in Shanghai, The Building Section, view of the Tower from the south.

“Vertical City”
          The Shanghai Tower’s upward spiraling form will become a ‘vertical city,” a structure
comprised of eight separate neighborhoods that become plazas in the sky. According to
Strabala, Shanghai’s central city is running out of space, so it is therefore efficient and
economical to build super-tall, mixed-use buildings, instead of multiple smaller buildings that
are spread out. Compared to several 30-story buildings, the super-high-rise takes up less land,
eases congestions, uses less energy and emits less pollution. Today, the vertical city idea
makes more and more senses, as long as we create very efficient infrastructure and buildings.
Shanghai is building several new subway lines that will be complete before the Shanghai Tower
completion date. This synergy between building density and public transportation is vital for
creation of viable urban centers.

                    “The tower’s spiral is a derivative from not only the smallest of things, the
“atom” (a single person), but also the largest of things, the “universe” (all people),” said Strabala.
“Every element of the building needs to perform two purposes. The spiral not only creates
beauty, but it reduces the structural loads. The double-skin design, not only saves energy, but
also creates an interstitial “traditional Chinese” space. The tower integrates art and science,
aesthetics and function, technology and beauty, and knowledge and perception.”

          The current team of Gensler Professionals includes personnel from Houston,
Washington, DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Shanghai. The US-based Gensler
architectural firm was selected following an intense 21-month-long competition among local
and international design firms. Strabala led the competition team which beat Norman Foster,
NBBJ, KPF, and his former firm of SOM.
          Marshall Strabala, the Lead Designer, works with an impressive group of individuals
including Jun Xia and Callum MacBean, Principals from Shanghai; Xiamei Lee and Grant Uhlir,
Project Managers; and Fred Liu John Circensis, Lisa Graiff, Howe keen Foong, Peng Wu, and the
Chairman of Gensler, Art Gensler, himself.

(left to right) The Sky Garden at the 68 floor overlooking the Pearl Tower, Night view of Shanghai Tower with the “strike.”

* Projects done as Associate Partner in Charge of Design, Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP


For more information, color building photos/renderings, or, to arrange an interview with Marshall Strabala, please

Michael Pirages of Pirages Communications at or call (001) 773-769-1616.

Joan Mills at, C +86 21 138182 34157

Marshall Strabala:      C +832 752 1063

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