|BEIJING and SHANGHAI – On a second intensive journey inside six months, CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood traveled to China to make additional connections and develop further support for new CTBUH research, the Council’s presence in Asia, and for the 2014 International Conference, which is to take place in Shanghai this September.|
Friday March 7 included meetings in Beijing with Chang Zhou, Secretary General of the Architectural Society of China, to discuss a supporting partnership; the Rose Rock Group and China World Trade Center organization to discuss their potential involvement in the conference, and with Dean Bing Wen and colleagues from the China Architecture Design & Research Group (CADRG), architects of record on the Greenland Center towers in Yinchuan. CADRG has now confirmed its involvement in the 2014 conference as Gold level sponsors.
|Antony Wood and Jason Liu of CITIC Heye Investment meet with China Construction Installation Engineering Co. |
|Saturday March 8 meetings featured Hill International, China State Construction and Nenfang Huang, general manager of China Construction Installation Engineering Co., where Wood was joined by Jason Liu of CITIC Heye Investment, who had arranged the meeting. |
As China will continue to be an important tall-building market for years to come, the Council is committed to staging annual conferences there every two years for the foreseeable future. Further to this objective, on Sunday March 9 Wood inspected numerous potential venues for a CTBUH conference in Beijing, including China World Hotel, China World Summit Wing, Kerry Hotel Beijing, Beijing National Convention Center, and the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Beijing.
While in Beijing, Wood met with Advisory Group member Don Davies of Magnusson Klemencic Associates and Prof. Wang of the China Academy of Building Research (CABR) to discuss a potential research project that would involve testing of structural column sections (more on this project to be announced shortly). Prof. Wang’s laboratory at CABR is one of the world’s best-equipped for this type of research, so it was critical to the project to secure CABR’s participation.
|China World Trade Center
||Zhonggou Zun construction site|
|Monday March 10 proved to be one of the busiest days of the trip, a highlight of which was a visit to the site of Zhonggou Zun (Z15), a 528-meter building being built by CITIC Heye Investment. The foundation made for an impressive site, 10 stories deep and filled with 500 workers welding rebar.
Before lunch, Wood met with Haiming Ke, executive vice president of Chia Tai Overseas Chinese Realty Development Co., to discuss their project in the Beijing New CBD Development. Wood had earlier met with Sunshine Insurance Group and Vantone to discuss their projects in the same development. The next meeting was with Li Congxiao, director of the China Society of Urban Studies, with an interest in garnering the institute’s involvement as supporting partners of the Conference, as well as seeking its assistance in drawing government officials to the event. Then it was off to the airport. Rest did not come until midnight in the Grand Hyatt Jin Mao, the 2014 Shanghai Conference venue.
On March 11, more than 30 people attended the Shanghai Conference Steering Committee meeting at Shanghai Tower, where Wood presented on the state of the Conference sponsorships and presentations.
The highlight of the day was the tour of Shanghai Tower itself, now mostly clad. The tuned mass damper that controls the tower’s stability was on full view, as were its soaring sky gardens. The 632-meter building promises to be one of the most significant gestures toward communal space in a tall building yet achieved, and it was thrilling to see it almost complete.
|Work continued, though it became of a softer variety as the evening wore on – it was time to tour potential conference social networking venues, including sites on Renmin Square and along the Huangpu River.|
The details of the Conference came into greater focus on March 12, when Wood and representatives of the Conference’s organizer, MCI, toured the Jin Mao Grand Hyatt and other potential social-networking venues, before a meeting with Shanghai PFT Construction Consulting late in the day.
|Shanghai Bund Finance Center
||Wood at the top of Shanghai Tower|
|Thursday the 13th began at Tongji University, where CTBUH is establishing its first Asia office this summer. Here, Wood met with Dr. Zhenyu Li, the new dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning at Tongji, and examined the new space.|
Next, it was off to Suzhou, where the Zhongnan Group is building a 700-meter-plus tower, the Suzhou Zhongnan Center, an almost unthinkable prospect in terms of location and scale even 10 years ago. Here, the meeting was with Dong Shen, General Manager of Suzhou Center, and other Zhongnan Group colleagues. Wood was joined at the meeting by Yongjia Chen from East China Architectural Design & Research Institute (ECADI), who had organized the meeting. ECADI continued to play an excellent host later that evening, with Chairman Junjie Zhang, treating the Conference organizers and Jiaming Cao, Chairman of the Architectural Society of Shanghai, to an intimate dinner back in Shanghai, with a view of the Huangpu River.
|Meeting with ECADI (left to right): Executive Director Antony Wood, CTBUH; Chairman Jiaming Cao, Architectural Society of Shanghai; and Chairman Junjie Zhang, ECADI|
|Even the “departure day” of Friday the 14th had few breaks in its schedule. It began with a highly productive meeting with Yang Wu, President of the Shanghai Bund Finance Center, which will construct a large complex by Foster & Partners and Thomas Heatherwick at the south end of Shanghai’s famous promenade, before further meetings with both Vanke and Shui On developers. These meetings delivered a promising send-off for the journey home -- just in time to prepare to come back again this summer!|
CTBUH would like to thank the following companies for their generous time and interest in meetings held during this March 2014 support trip for the 2014 Shanghai Conference:
Architectural Society of China
Chia Tai Group
China Academy of Building Research
China Architecture Design & Research Group
China Construction Installation Engineering Co.
China Society of Urban Studies / MOHURD
China State Construction Engineering Corp.
China World Trade Center Tower
Rose Rock Group
Sunshine Insurance Group
Vantone Real Estate
Jianghe Curtain Wall
Jin Mao Grand Hyatt
Shanghai Bund Financial Center
Shanghai PFT Construction Consulting Co.
Shui On Development
Tongji University, College of Architecture and Urban Planning