Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Jing An Kerry Centre Tour
CTBUH 2014 Conference: Shanghai
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See the report on the 2014 Shanghai Conference
September 19, 2014
Daniel Safarik, CTBUH Editor
Jing An Kerry Centre is a 380,000 square-meter, multi-building mixed-use complex spanning Nanjing Road near the Jing An Temple. The complex has some superficial resemblances to the massing of Rockefeller Center in New York, as illustrated by KPF Principal James von Klemperer during his presentation at the closing plenary the previous day, and its facades contain references to the classic curtain-wall skyscrapers of the 1950s and 1960s in that city. It is connected to the city’s vast Metro network at the B1 level.
Steel sculpture "Wind," by Arne Quinze Attendees touring the unfinished office spaces
For Conference attendees, the Jing An Kerry Centre experience began where it does for most visitors to the complex – in the highly polished luxury shopping mall at its base. While most retail malls deliberately direct escalator traffic around the longest possible landing at each level, so as to maximize footfall in front of merchandise, the Jing An Kerry Centre mall seems to take a different tack. Escalator travel circuits are relatively tight, and direct the eye upwards through the shifting floor plates toward skylights and large-scale public art, such as the bright-orange steel sculpture “Wind,” by Arne Quinze.
Views from the office
Admiring the lobby of the Shangri-La Hotel
The overall sense of being in the lap of luxury was further exemplified by traveling through the lushly appointed lobby and convention spaces of the Shangri-La Hotel on-site, while several empty office floors were also on view in both the north and south towers. The office levels have raised floors for more efficient mechanical and electrical distribution, and 2.9-meter vertical clearances. The complex has received LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council.

A massive restaurant on the second level is an essay in highly polished wood, mirrors and an air of exclusivity. Even the parking garages and mechanical plant, notable for their extreme cleanliness and tidiness, exuded the attention to detail accorded to the public and tenant areas.
Check-in desk of the Shangri-La Hotel Inside the restaurant Seventh Son
Perhaps the two most incongruous buildings on the site are among the most interesting, and provide the most strident illustration of China’s transformation into a global market center in just a few decades. The birth house of Mao Tse Tung, now a museum and contemporary art gallery, is marooned amidst the patterned granite pavers and 200-meter curtain walls. The ancestral home of the father of Chinese Communism is now completely encased in one of the country’s most lavish real-estate developments. Next door, a pitched-roof bamboo-and-wood structure by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban contains a high-end Italian restaurant, Calypso.
Group photo of the Jing An Kerry Centre attendees
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