19.2.2018

High-rise tower in glass and steel at the Huangpu River

The design is made up of three squares, with the central high-rise tower and the flanking five-story base buildings slightly offset to suit the geometry of the site

In 2015, the architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp) were able to win the competition for the construction of the China UnionPay Tower in Shanghai. Now the practice has been commissioned to design the 150 meter high building which, with its vertically structured glass facade, opens up to the surroundings and offers an impressive view across the former Expo area and the banks of the Huangpu River.

In this prominent and conspicuous position on the former Expo area, directly adjacent to the Huangpu River, China UnionPay (CUP), the most important credit card company and payment handler in China and Asia, is planning to realize the building with a gross floor area of over 90,000 square meters and a height of 150 meters.

In its layout, the design is made up of three squares, with the central high-rise tower and the flanking five-story base buildings slightly offset to suit the geometry of the site. A glass bridge bisects the buildings on the 4th and 5th floors, connecting them with each other and creating a generous roofed-over entrance area. Passages between the entrance hall and the base buildings allow direct access from the main local square in the south to the drive and main entrance in the north.

The differentiation of the building volumes and in the facade design emphasize the different functional areas, such as entrance hall, lounge, exhibition areas, staff canteen, and business rooms in the lower floors, offices in the main part of the tower, and the management level in the top floors of the tower. At the same time, the design elements provide a horizontal and vertical structure to the building.

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Thanks to finely tuned detailing involving the glass facade and the structural steelwork, which was designed as a “tube-in-tube” system in cooperation with schlaich bergermann partner (sbp), it is possible to integrate the upright supports in the plane of the facade, creating shallow facade depths and, on the inside, functional areas without vertical support members. In the plinth area, the columns have been gathered to converge into four points, which allows for an open and transparent design of the entrance areas.

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