TFP’s designs for the BEA Financial Tower combine elegant, contemporary aesthetics with a modern, technologically advanced building form. The striking development offers high efficiency levels and responds to China’s increasing concern for environmental protection.
Developed as Shanghai’s new central business district, Pudong with its ever-changing skyline is often seen as the commercial symbol of Shanghai. As a result, any new developments have to respond not only to market demand but are also required to contribute to the city’s visual and spatial dynamism.
The BEA Financial Tower development is a grade-A office building in a prominent location in the Lujiazui commercial district of Pudong. Standing 198 metres tall, it consists of three underground levels, a 40-storey tower and a five-floor podium structure, which is dedicated to restaurants, public facilities and support services.
Although there are view corridors of the river and the Bund, the site is set back from the waterfront and has to compete with prominent high rises, notably the Jin Mao Building, currently the tallest skyscraper in China. TFP proposed a structure that was layered into three principal forms. A central circulation and service core is flanked by two floor plates with the west wing of the building rising above the other two components. The creation of this stepped effect brings a level of clarity and directness to the building’s massing.
Each element functions independently but is bound into a singular composition by complementary materials and modularity. This adds significantly to China Global Finance Tower’s instant-recognition factor and enhances both the view potential and the building’s silhouette on the skyline.
The façades react differently to the environment through orientation, materials and technology within the building envelope. Fluctuations in heat gain and loss are limited, the building’s sustainability is maximised, and operational efficiency is improved.
Following detailed analysis into solar insulation, four types of cladding were established, each of which is designed to deal with a specific environmental aspect. To minimise excessive solar gain and building heat load on the south-west and south-east elevations, the percentage of glazed areas is reduced, horizontal shading devices are provided and low-emissive glass is used.
Glare protection from the low-setting sun is required on the north-west side but because the principal views of the local park lie in this direction maintaining an open, glazed vista is important. To keep the views while simultaneously limiting glare, large areas of the north-west façade are glazed and vertical fins introduced to shade the interior and allow for lighting effects at night. As well as producing an elongating effect, the fins add visual interest and depth to the façade rendering at all times.
The north-east façade has neutral solar gain and is mainly glazed with low-e glass to maximise views. TFP captured the sense of the greenery being swept vertically into the building by positioning sky gardens on the various refuge floors and creating a visual link to the park from ground level upwards.
The use of other energy-efficient systems was also a main intent of the design and the building has a responsive Building Management System (BMS). This controls the interior environment to achieve optimum use of energy resources and maintains the internal air temperature and air quality.
Solar collectors are set on an angled surface on the roof of the south-west block of the tower to achieve optimum performance, contribute to the lighting of the common areas and potentially pre-heat the air and water systems. Grey-water collection from the roof is also utilised for irrigation and flushing-water purposes.
During the building’s lifetime, the net aggregate of all these systems will contribute to the limitation of energy use and enhance the profile of the development as an environmentally aware and responsible contribution to the skyline of Pudong.