China World Tower

At 330m high, the new mega-tower is the tallest building in Beijing and one of the tallest in any zone of high seismic activity.

The 74-storey development accommodates state of the art offices, a five-star hotel, retail spaces and entertainment venues, yielding a gross floor area of 300,000m2.

The height and the scale of the super-high-rise building go far beyond the limits of existing structures in Beijing. Demonstrating that it would be able to withstand major seismic impact was therefore a huge challenge.

Multiple new techniques, including computer simulation and physical tests, were used to examine the behaviour of the building at different seismic levels. Such comprehensive studies were unprecedented in China and provoked a great deal of interest in the Beijing engineering and academic community.

To achieve the necessary combination of strength and flexibility Arup introduced a new system to China by adopting a 'composite steel plate shear wall' at the base of the tower.

The structural design of the tower required a comprehensive and detailed exploration of innovative schemes.

The result illustrates that the best balance between economics and structural safety of a super high-rise building in a high seismic zone can be achieved through sophisticated analysis and innovative systems.

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  • China World Trade Centre mega tower at night. Credit Frank P Palmer.Open gallery

    The tower strikes the best balance between economics and structural safety in a seismic zone.

  • China World Trade Centre (c) Frank P PalmerOpen gallery

    The scale of the super-high-rise tower is beyond any existing structures in Beijing.