From Icon to Community: The Repositioning of the Mega Tower in the City Context

Bryant Lu
Vice Chairman
Ronald Lu & Partners, Hong Kong

Historically, mega-towers were frequently labelled “egocentric displays of power,” becoming iconic symbols of a city or an individual. In today’s age of global hyper-urbanization, supertall towers are, for the first time in history, becoming more than just iconic power symbols. These towers address a real urbanization problem: they create more building space with less land. New generation mega-towers have evolved from being independent structures into complex mini-cities with integrated underground transportation systems and pedestrian connections. Their underground and above-grade connections to infrastructure are often more challenging to design and build than the towers themselves. Given this complex and highly dynamic design environment, the existing mega-tower delivery model is no longer fit for purpose; a new, more efficient model must be explored. This presentation compared two mega-towers: Tianjin CTF Finance Centre (530m) in Tianjin, China and Wuhan CTF Finance Centre (648m) in Wuhan, China; discussing the design and build challenges involved in both.

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