Shanghai Tower Tops Out 
08.13.2013
Art Gensler in San Francisco, Shanghai Tower, Shanghai Tower, Shanghai Tower Construction Update, Shanghai Tower Lead Architect Jun Xia, Tall Buildings

Image © Gensler

Last week I had the opportunity to return to China for a very special milestone - the topping out of the Shanghai Tower. It seems like yesterday, but in fact it was five years ago, that we won the design competition for the tower. Besting Foster & Partners, KPF, and a host of other world-class firms for the honor of constructing China's largest, and the world's second tallest building, gave us our first opportunity to build in the super-tall realm. I knew then how important it would be to call upon our best talent from China and around the world to bring the project to fruition.

Image © Gensler

I attended the topping out ceremonies on the construction site along with 500 guests, including our client, building partners, and media outlets from around the world. The ceremony was a genuine celebration of the building and the excitement was palpable. I also toured the site – all the way to the top. And let me tell you, the view from up there is truly amazing!

Image © Gensler

Standing 120 stories above Shanghai, it was impossible not to reflect on the hundreds of Gensler people from across our firm involved in the project. There is simply no way a building of this size, complexity, and significance can be built without the collaborative spirit a firm like Gensler can bring to the table. From the initial invitation to participate in the design competition, to the tower's design that merges eastern and western cultural influences, to the technical aspects of the facade, and so much more....it never could have happened without the collaboration of so many people across our firm.

I have always believed that Gensler's strength lies in our collective global skill set. We are stronger as a firm when we bring our unique skills, viewpoints and experience to the table. It’s been that way from the beginning when we were a single office in San Francisco, through our expansion across the US, and now more than ever as we grow globally. My recent trip to Shanghai, and the time I spent in our Shanghai office and with our diverse team there, only reinforced what I know from my experience to be true: collaboration is the only way we can create projects that not only exceed the expectations of our clients, but that delight, surprise, and support the people who live, work, and play in the spaces we create.

Art Gensler
Art Gensler is the founder of Gensler.
Article originally appeared on architecture and design (http://www.gensleron.com/).
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