London architect finds record height

LONDON-based architect group Farrells has hit a new record-breaking high with the topping of the Kingkey Finance Tower in China. The 100-storey skyscraper stands at 441 metres (1,440ft) and is the tallest building designed by a British architect to date towering over any construction in the UK.

The Kingkey tower is twice the height of 1 Canada Square, Britain’s tallest building standing at 230 metres (770ft) above the ground. It will also be taller than the 310m Shard London Bridge that is the set to rule London’s skyline as the UK’s tallest construction once it is completed.

The newly topped Chinese giant is already the eighth tallest building in the world at the centre of a 417,000 square metre office, retail, entertainment, apartment and hotel complex located in the city Shenzen, one of China’s major financial centres.

The entire site comprises the 441m tower, with over 160,000 square metres of office space and a six star hotel occupying 23 floors that will feature a spa, swimming pool and fitness centre, a podium, as well as two commercial buildings and five residential complexes. The design of the Kingkey Finance Tower was led and supervised by TFP Farrells’ director Stefan Krummer. One of its main design features is the building’s curved proļ¬le. This form alludes to a fountain that is intended reflect the wealth and prosperity of Shenzhen.

The Kingkey Finance Tower is the latest high-profile commission for Terry Farrells and Partners in the region, which also includes the Beijing South Station, as part of China’s new high-speed network opened in 2008, Hong Kong’s Mount Davis Villas and The Peak Hong Kong leisure centre.

TPF Farrells’ chairman Sir Terry Farrell aims to capitalise on the growing demand for British architectural and engineering expertise across the emerging Asian region.

He said: “The economic growth in China provides a natural opportunity for British architects and engineers and there is strong appetite for British expertise, design and imagination.”

His previous works in the UK include the redevelopment of South Bank, Covent Garden and Charing Cross station in central London. He is currently working on regenerating Earls Court and the Thames Estuary, and he was recently appointed to London Mayor Boris Johnsons’ Design Panel. TPF Farrells has a team of 130 professionals throughout Asia including designers and project managers.