Best Tall Building Asia & Australasia Award of Excellence: Ping An Finance Center, Shenzhen

Felix Wu
Chief Design Officer
Ping An Real Estate, Shanghai

James von Klemperer
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, New York City

Catching Lightning: A Climate and Context-Specific Skyscraper

Located in Shenzhen’s new central business district, the Ping An Finance Center is the city’s tallest building. The office tower is anchored to the city fabric through a retail podium to the south. The podium includes eight floors of retail shops that terrace away from the tower to form a large elevated garden space, which spans across the Fuhua 3rd Road and connects directly to the Ping An Finance Center South Tower.

The tower responds to the unique challenges of the local climate, including typhoons and frequent lightning. Its aerodynamic form – with a tapering silhouette and profiled corners – reduce wind loads by as much as 40 percent. The façade’s V-shaped steel piers are wired together to form a protective “net” that shields the building from lightning. The building also offers a high level of efficiency for its workers, with a vertical transportation network directly connected to the Futian high-speed rail and metro station.

The project’s success can also be seen in the site planning, which takes cues from its immediate context by providing public space that responds to the western pedestrian street edge, thus becoming part of a larger north–south public spine. This improves pedestrian circulation and provides ample opportunities for green spaces and sidewalk cafés, revitalizing the existing retail mall on the west side of the complex and stimulating street life.

View Building on The Skyscraper Center