Rising 600 meters over the city of Shenzhen, the 118-story Ping An Financial Center will be a landmark building when it is completed next year. “It will be the second tallest building in China,” notes Florence Chan, who is slated to speak on the project’s unique stainless steel applications at the Outokumpu Experience.
Regarding material selection, there is an enduring association between landmark buildings and stainless steel. “In the history of modern architecture, in projects like the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building, stainless steel has been the default material of choice,” she says. “All of these buildings aspire to that visual quality.”
Exciting new dimensions
Setting a new world record for the greatest use of stainless steel on exterior walls, the Ping An project puts stainless steel to work in unusual ways. From three-dimensional piers on the building’s exterior walls to the material’s unique Linen finish, stainless steel plays a key role in expressing the design intent. “This project truly demonstrates the quality of this material in natural light,” Chan says.
The way stainless steel responds to light is a key factor. Designers have maintained a careful balance between a natural shimmer and potential glare. “The embossed pattern we chose has a little bit of shimmer in sunlight,” Chan says, “but at the same time it creates more diffused light on the surface. We wanted to make sure to get a good balance of visual effects while being very careful about potential light pollution.”