Shanghai Tower: Milestones
Art Gensler in Shanghai Tower, Shanghai Tower, Shanghai Tower Construction Update, Shanghai Tower Lead Architect Jun Xia

Video © Gensler

Read this post in Mandarin here.

I’ve been thinking a lot about milestones lately with the holidays here in the U.S., and the upcoming Chinese New Year, as well as the impending opening of the Shanghai Tower this summer. Gensler’s Shanghai Tower project team has marked numerous milestones in the past twelve months, most recently the completion of the façade installation and the beginning of the sky atrium landscaping.

Gensler won the Shanghai Tower project back in 2008. Every day since then our project team—led by Jun Xia from our Shanghai office but comprised of over 200 people from across the firm—has worked tirelessly to solve the many challenges inherent in building a supertall building. We have learned a lot along the way. From the beginning, we were committed to assembling the best and brightest minds from across our 46 offices for this project, and the resulting building is tangible evidence of what collaborative efforts can yield.

Effective leadership and great design have been key throughout. Jun, a Gensler principal and a Shanghai native was the visionary behind the Shanghai Tower and he has lead the project from the beginning. The distinctive spiral design concept for the Tower fuses Jun’s deep cultural understanding of Shanghai and China with his 20+ years of global architectural experience as a design leader on Gensler projects around the world.

Image © Gensler

All along, a strong team and a collaborative approach to the project have been crucial to the project’s successful execution. Under Jun’s leadership, a team of design directors oversaw the details of this complex project from the outset and exceeded every challenge a project of this size threw at them. I want to acknowledge specifically the contributions of key team members David Glover, Hui-Ling Hsieh, Fred Liu, Tanja Speckmann, Ben Tranel, Grant Uhlir, Steve Weindel, Sasha Zeljic, Dick Fencl (retired from Gensler in 2013), Marshall Strabala (with Gensler until 2010), and Chris Chan (with Gensler until 2012). I also want to acknowledge Xiaomei Lee. In addition to having a great design team, Xiaomei’s day to day project management leadership has been extraordinary. Xiaomei’s unsurpassed knowledge of Chinese architecture, design, and development practices has been invaluable at every point in the construction process. The project, and the entire firm, has benefited greatly from her expertise.

With just a few milestones left before the Shanghai Tower opens to tenants and the public, I continue to marvel at the work we’ve accomplished as a team. My deepest thanks and congratulations to Jun and the entire Shanghai Tower team for a job well done.

Art Gensler
Art Gensler is the founder of Gensler.
Article originally appeared on architecture and design (
See website for complete article licensing information.