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World’s tallest detached-core building completes in Shenzhen

Morphosis designed the project.

June 02, 2021 |

Photo: Zhang Chao

Hanking Center, an 1,180-foot-tall mixed-use complex with a commercial office tower and retail center, has completed in Shenzhen, China. The 65-story tower is currently the tallest detached-core building in the world.

The slender profile of the tower emerges above a low-rise retail podium that features angled facets, shadowing the form of the tower above. A series of glass sky bridges and steel mega-braces knit the offset core to the main body of the tower. At ground level, the Center is accessible by multiple entrances and is set within a landscaped public plaza, ensuring a permeable site that invites the public into the retail podium.

The tower’s steel structural system and detached-core configuration, which positions the tower’s primary core on the building’s exterior, promotes higher efficiency and adaptability of interior floor plates. This enhances the tower’s ability to service the varying needs of its occupants. The detached-core configuration also allows for an innovative approach to internal circulation and the creation of social and work spaces that integrate public and private domains. Two secondary cores in the body provide additional structural reinforcement and house mechanical services such as freight and VIP elevators.

By shifting the primary movement and service core outside the main body of the tower, the design minimizes the building’s structural footprint while maximizing open spaces inside the tower. The exoskeletal frame bends and straightens to expand and contract interior floor sizes.

The open floor plates allow for enhanced natural light and airflow. Tenants move from circulation around the core to quieter perimeter offices, creating a public to private gradient. Folded angles are used to merge public components in the podium with private commercial space in the tower. Inside the retail podium, a tapered atrium draws natural light down into the mall creating an inviting interior environment for the public. A grand plaza and dimensional hardscape surrounds the tower’s podium to create a new neighborhood landmark that enhances public activity at the street level.

The project completed in 2018 with a gradual opening that continued into 2021.

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