Jiangxi Nanchang Greenland Central Plaza, Parcel A

November 23, 2015
Twin skyscrapers are the new tallest buildings in Nanchang, China.

The twin towers of Jiangxi Nanchang Greenland Central Plaza, Parcel A, were about halfway built when Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) received a somewhat inconvenient request from the developer. Instead of the designed height of 289 meters (948 feet), the towers were to be adjusted, mid-construction, to reach 300 meters (984 feet). “Adding 11 meters to a building that’s already under construction is not necessarily an easy task,” says lead designer Mark Nagis, AIA, who is based in SOM’s Chicago office.

At that stage of construction, there weren’t a lot of options that would pencil out with the building’s existing engineering and load management design. Nagis and his team went back to the drawing board, then to the 3D printer, then to the wind tunnel. After testing the structural loads of their design alternatives, they found a solution in an elegant crown covered with gently angled glass panels. The panels add the desired height and open like vertical blinds to allow the prevailing east–west winds to blow through, load-free.

Completed in January at an official 303 meters (994 feet), the matching office towers are the tallest buildings in Nanchang, the capital of the Jiangxi province in southeastern China.