Chicago Exports: bKL’s 2,424-Foot-Tall Tower Moves Forward [u]

Rendering of H700 Shenzhen Tower (Courtesy of bKL Architecture)

Rendering of H700 Shenzhen Tower (Courtesy of bKL Architecture)

Today we continue our series of reports we call “Chicago Exports.”

So much of the world’s great architecture is designed right here in Chicago by Chicagoans, but it’s not built in Chicagoland so it goes unseen by the hometown crowd. That’s why we are featuring the great works produced by Chicago architects continuing the city’s proud legacy as the birthplace of the skyscraper, and a global center of architecture.

A little over four months ago we told you about Chicago-based bKL Architecture’s plan for a new supertower to be built in China. That plan is now moving forward, and we’re learning more about it.

The developer, Shenzhen Kingkey Group, has submitted the necessary paperwork to the local government for its approval, according to the Council on Tall Building and Urban Habitat.

When we last visited the project now known as H700 Shenzhen Tower, it had a height of “around 700 meters.” Now just how deeply the building will scrape the sky is known — 739 meters, or 2,424 feet in American. In Chicago terms, it’s two John Hancock Centers stacked upon each other, with a Saint Mary of the Angels for a crown.

When completed, it would be the tallest building in China, and fourth tallest in the world, behind Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Tower, well under construction; the Burj Khalifa in the U.A.E.; and Tradewinds Square in Malaysia, which currently only exists on paper.

bKL describes the building thusly:

Anchoring the gateway between the CBD and the surrounding natural context, the tower, rising to approximately 700m, becomes a technical expression of the developing region, while the plaza provides a cultural focal point for the eastern expansion of the city.

The plaza includes retail, civic, and institutional structures, providing the perfect opportunity to become the cultural epicenter within the new development.

The tower’s elegant form is composed of three transforming design components: the shape, the structure, and the sky gardens. All three design components ground the tower in a continuous interaction between people and nature. The tower is bold, technical, and strong, while at the same time refined, natural, and elegant.

August 22, 2016 @ 12:30pm CT: This story was updated with new renderings.  All images courtesy of bKL Architecture.

Location: Red Po, Shenzhen

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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