Shenzhen Skyscraper the World’s Fourth Tallest

After seven years of construction, China’s newest skyscraper is officially the world’s fourth tallest.

Located in Shenzhen’s financial district, the 599-metre-tall Ping An Finance Centre (PAFC) comprises 462,000sq m of floorspace over 100-storeys. The skyscraper was completed in December 2017. Ping An is China’s second largest insurance company.


Designed by Kohn Pederson Fox (KPF) Architects, the building has spent the past several years under construction, topping out in 2016 and reaching full completion in 2017.

Only the Burj Khalifa, Shanghai Tower, and Makkah Royal Clock Tower are taller.


The building was named as a finalist for the Best Tall Building: Asia & Australasia category by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat; it will be competing against Sydney’s Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners-designed International Towers.

Made of stone and glass, the PAFC comprises 100 floors of office space and a podium that features five floors of retail shops.

“The building is also defined by a central atrium, which serves as a public vestibule and allows daylight in, creating a welcoming space for meeting, shopping and dining,” the architects said.

Ping An Finance Center 02

As well as the stone and glass make-up, the tower also features a steel façade, using a total of 1,700 tons of 316L stainless steel to make the largest stainless steel façade in the world to date. The material was reportedly chosen specifically to prevent corrosion, which will keep the appearance of the Ping An Finance Centre unchanged for several decades despite Shenzhen’s “salty coastal atmosphere”.

“Since its completion, PAFC has become a well-loved landmark, both for its iconic expressiveness on the Shenzhen skyline and for its craftsmanship and enduring materiality. Its stretched, obelisk-like shape is streamlined with continuously tapering corners for aerodynamic performance, visual effect, and space efficiency.”

Kohn Pederson Fox Architects
Ping An Finance Center 02

At the top of the tower, the façades taper to form a pyramid, giving the tower a prismatic aesthetic. The form is emphasized by eight composite super-columns that extrude beyond the building envelope. The streamlined shape of the tower improves both structural and wind performance, reducing baseline wind loads by 35 per cent.

Ping An’s financial centre sits near the OMA-designed Shenzen Stock exchange
Ping An’s financial centre’s location – nearby OMA’s Shenzen Stock exchange

When the PAFC was completed in 2017, it became part of a new record for the most skyscrapers completed across the world in a single year. Fifty-three per cent of the 200-metre-plus buildings that finished in 2017 were in China.

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