Megatall with iconic steel façade

Leslie McManus


Architects for the megatall skyscraper of Ping An Finance Center were looking for exterior cladding that delivers performance and permanence.


Outokumpu Deco Linen surface finish on austenitic Outokumpu Supra stainless steel grade wraps the building with unique durability and a timeless visual quality that complements cutting-edge design.


Steel grade: Outokumpu Supra 316L
Surface finish: Deco Linen

No building in the world matches the façade of the Ping An Finance Center in Shenzhen, China. Towering 600 meters (1,969 feet) above a coastal area near Hong Kong, the Ping An skyscraper holds the world’s record for greatest use of stainless steel in exterior walls. The 115-story megatall is the headquarters of the Ping An Life Insurance Company. Ping An will house office space, high-end retail, fine dining and entertainment venues.


Design-worthy finish

Stainless steel provided by Outokumpu plays a key role in expressing design intent – from three-dimensional piers on the exterior to a unique cladding finish. For what will be China’s second-tallest building, architects Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) chose the unmatched qualities of stainless steel. KPF turned to Outokumpu for guidance in material selection.

The designers chose the Deco range for its timeless durability, while remaining sensitive to concerns of light pollution. The solution? An embossed Linen pattern in Supra 316L stainless steel that generates a subtle shimmer in sunlight, while creating a diffused surface glow. The Deco finish is a perfect counterpoint to the building’s unique triangular shape, revealing changes of light and shadow.


The sustainable choice

The high sustainability rating of Outokumpu stainless makes it a consideration for architects when constructing a green building. Fully recyclable stainless steel is the cladding of choice for a building that faces complex environmental challenges of high humidity, extreme heat and typhoons. Ping An is indeed a showpiece for sustainable materials and is seeking LEED Gold certification.

Because stainless steel doesn’t corrode, it maintains its finish, an important factor in life-cycle costs. That unchanging finish has a direct effect on the building’s solar reflective index and energy absorption, which translates into energy efficiency. In the Ping An Financial Center, Outokumpu’s commitment to quality ensures a uniform, consistent and elegant surface. It is a sustainable solution with a timeless finish.

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The Supra range contains stainless steel products designed for highly corrosive environments. Outokumpu Supra range stainless steels have a good resistance to uniform corrosion in many organic and inorganic chemicals. The addition of molybdenum enhances the alloy’s corrosion resistance in many acidic environments.


The Forta range contains duplex and other high strength stainless steels that enable thinner structures and weight reduction (measured in Rp0.2 > 400 MPa. PRE 16 to 43).