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Pearl River Tower
General information
Location Guangzhou, China
Coordinates 23°07′36″N 113°19′03″E / 23.12675°N 113.3176°E / 23.12675; 113.3176Coordinates: 23°07′36″N 113°19′03″E / 23.12675°N 113.3176°E / 23.12675; 113.3176
Status Under construction
Groundbreaking 28 September 2006
Estimated completion October 2010
Use Office and conference
Roof 310 m (1,017 ft)
Top floor 71
Technical details
Floor area 212,165 m2 (2,283,725 sq ft)
Companies involved
Architect(s) Gordon Gill at SOM
Structural engineer Skidmore, Owings and Merrill
Contractor Shanghai Construction Group
Developer China National Tobacco Corporation

The Pearl River Tower (simplified Chinese: 珠江大厦) is a skyscraper that is under construction at the junction of Jinsui Road/Zhujiang Avenue West, Tianhe District, Guangzhou, China. The firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) is the architect and engineer of the project. The designer was American architect Gordon Gill, who worked at SOM until 2006.[1]; the structural engineering of the project is led by Bill Baker. Ground broke on the tower on the 8th of September 2006; construction is expected to be complete in October 2010. It is intended for office use and will be partially occupied by the China National Tobacco Corporation[2] and additional office tenants.



Construction of the building as of 15 May 2009
  • Fall 2005 : Design Competition
  • 8 September  2006 : Ground Breaking Ceremony
  • November 2006 : Enabling Works begin
  • 18 July 2007 : Public bidding for the construction[3]
  • January 2008 : Main Package construction begins -26.2 m (−86 ft)
  • August 2008 : Building Core construction reaches ground level 0 m (0 ft)
  • April 2008 : 15th Level 80.6 m (264 ft)
  • November 2009: Glass curtainwall installation begins
  • December 2009: Building reaches upper wind turbine level

Architecture and Design

Contemporary Art Museum Exhibit

The design of the Pearl River Tower intends to set new standards for skyscrapers: a high-performance structure designed in such harmony with its environment that it extracts energy from the natural and passive forces surrounding the building[4]. Some of the major accomplishments are in the nature of the formal and technological integration of form and function in a holistic approach to engineering and architectural design.[5]



The building is designed with energy conservation in mind, including wind turbines and solar collectors, photovoltaic cells, raised floors ventilation, and radiant heating and cooling ceilings. It will be arguably one of the most environmentally friendly buildings in the world.[6]

Of Pearl River Tower’s accomplishments, many are related to the sustainable design features including:

  • The first building to incorporate wind turbines in the body of a building
  • The largest radiant-cooled office building in the world
  • Most energy efficient super-tall building in the world
  • The tower is an example of China’s goal to reduce the intensity of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP in 2020 by 40 to 45 percent as compared to the level of 2005.[7]


  1. ^ Smith, Adrian (2007). The Architecture of Adrian Smith, SOM: Toward a Sustainable Future. Images Publishing Group Pty Ltd. p. 556. ISBN 1-86470-169-2. 
  2. ^ "The winds of change", World Architecture News
  3. ^ "Guangzhou, the third high-rise tender requirements super energy-saving". Yangcheng Evening News. 18 July 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2009. 
  4. ^ "Net Zero Energy Design". SOM. Retrieved 11 April 2009. 
  5. ^ "How Far Can You Go? Case Study: Pearl River Tower", High Performing Buildings Magazine, Winter 2008
  6. ^ "Pearl River Tower", Global Architecture Encyclopedia
  7. ^ "China Daily: "China to cut 40 to 45% GDP unit carbon by 2020”". 

External links


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