Shanghai Mixed-Use Tower Breaks Ground

Skidmore, Owings & Merill L.L.P. have announced the groundbreaking for the White Magnolia Plaza in Shanghai. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and their partner in the project, Shanghai Jinjang North Bund Realty Co. began construction on Sept. 26, having just recently received authorization for the plans from the Shanghai City Planning Administrative Bureau. The plans for the White Magnolia Plaza call for a 320-meter-high office building and two hotel towers to be built atop a mixed-use base and an underground parking facility. The development is located on a 57,000-square-meter plot of land on the Huang Pu River. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s final design for the plaza incorporates modern architectural techniques, including the use of curved surfaces on the towers. The crescent-shaped hotel towers will flank the central office building, integrating the complex with the scale of the neighborhood. The buildings also employ the latest in green technology, such as perforated aluminum sunshades to reduce solar heat gain and light pollution. A representative for Shanghai Jinjang North Bund Realty Co.’s parent company, Sinar Mas Paper Company Investment Co., affirmed the company’s commitment to an environmentally sustainable design. “We aimed to create not only a new landmark for Shanghai’s famous Bund, but also an environmentally-conscious hub of business and culture in the emerging North Bund district,” the spokesperson said in a prepared statement. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill see the project as a turning point for the region. “The project will be a catalyst for the economical and architectural rejuvenation of this district of Shanghai,” said Thomas Kerwin, SOM managing partner for the project, in a release. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is a Chicago-based architectural firm responsible for notable buildings such as Chicago’s Sears Tower and John Hancock Center. The firm has a worldwide reach with offices in five cities and major projects in international cities including London, Dubai and Shanghai. Recently, the firm participated in the topping out of the Trump International Hotel & Tower – Chicago, the tallest building project in the United States since their own Sears Tower in 1974.