I recently moved to a new part of Shenzhen, close to the Futian Coco Park mall. While it is an amazingly nice area, there has been a fairly large construction site next to the mall that has been an eyesore for the past few years. I haven't put much thought into what was being constructed until a week ago when I walked past the site and saw a graphical representation of the finished building. Seemed impressively tall, but then again most artistic renditions of future building projects are exaggerated and made to look more impressive then they will actually be. Every building looks like it will be the world's most impressive in early renderings, when in reality it may be a small 20 floor overpriced apartment building.
None the less I was intrigued. I got on my iPhone, typed in "Pingan IFC Shenzhen" into Google, and the second result made me say, out loud, "what the f***?"
The entry read, "Shenzhen, Ping'an International Finance Centre, 660m, 2165ft…"
I had just been to Shanghai for the first part of the mid-autumn holiday and spent time in Pudong. My friends and I went up to the 97th floor of China's current tallest building (Shanghai World Financial Center) and looking down we could see the foundation of the Shanghai Tower, due to be completed in 2014 and measure 632 meters in height. From the renderings, it looks to be a fantastic looking building (I would say possibly the most beautiful skyscraper in the world) and I believed it was scheduled to be the highest in China.
And then I just happened to find out that right across the highway from me is going to be an even higher skyscraper, which when completed will not only be the tallest in China, but the second-tallest in the world! My mind has just been officially blown.
The only unfortunate piece of news is its scheduled completion date of 2015 (according to Wikipedia, though a local taxi driver would only say 'two years'). I can only hope this is a conservative estimate as other sources point to 2014. Looking at pictures from the Skyscraper City forums, the foundation seems to be mostly complete (in my non-professional political science major opinion) so I hope they start to build the above ground structure soon. By the end it should reach all the way up to 115 floors.
The list of world's tallest skyscraper's has gradually shift in the past 20 years away from the West to the East, with China and the Middle East planning and completing more and more elaborate towers. The realization that the world's second tallest building is under construction 5 minutes away from me has rekindled my interest in the subject. Below are links to some interesting articles, plus some pictures I took of the construction site. In all of the world, it seems China is the new mecca for skyscraper construction. Not even Dubai, with its financial difficulties, will be able to keep pace. Glad I'm here to experience it (at least until the bubble strikes).
Below: Pictures of the construction site from last week. Not much to see yet.
Asia has skyscraper supremacy with some of world's tallest buildings
China to get new skyscraper every five days for three years [Note: The picture in this article must be at least 5 years old. This is an article about skyscrapers and the picture they chose to include isn't even new enough to show the Shanghai World Financial Center? Weird. Plus Shenzhen Pingan IFC isn't even accounted for. It does say that Shenzhen has almost as many skyscrapers as Shanghai. Maybe they're all hiding from me, but I don't see them. Either that or I've become immune from noticing tall buildings.]
Skyscraper City Forum for Pingan IFC [Seems I'm not the only one living close to the construction site.]
Race to the Sky - Shanghai and Shenzhen Building Some of the Tallest Buildings in the World
China's Skyscraper Domination ["The shift is so drastic that North America's share of the 100 tallest buildings will fall from 80 percent in 1990 to 18 percent by 2012. By then, 45 of the tallest will be in Asia, with 34 of those in China alone." This is why when I visited New York City after being in China I thought, "where are all the tall buildings?" Compared to Shanghai, New York's skyline didn't seem so high anymore.]
Skyscrapers Are A Great Bubble Indicator [Article claims China will have #2, 3, 5, 9, and 10 tallest buildings in the world by 2015. Indication of a future bubble?]
The World's Most Renowned Architects Are Flocking To Shanghai
Top 8 Skyscrapers That Will Push The Limits Of Design [Older article, but interesting that only one listed is in China. I'd put money on most of the Middle East towers not being built any time soon as some have already been delayed. That's the difference. They talk a big game. No delays here in China. Design them and build them, quick as you can.]
Golden Tower Becomes the Symbol of the New China [That is one ugly building.]