Confirmed by The Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) as being the tallest building in the world completed in 2011.

KK100 is an innovative high density project that takes an entirely new approach to city making.

It is situated on the edge of Shenzhen’s CBD and sets a new precedent for the successful 21st century transformation of commercial districts into vibrant and enriching environments.

The 100-storey, 441.8-metre tower comprising over 210,000m2 of accommodation is part of the master plan for a 417,000m2 mixed-use development.  The development includes five residential buildings and two commercial buildings.

The floors of the tower are divided into three major functions. The floors from level 4 to 72 house 173,000m2 of Grade-A office space while the uppermost levels from 75 to 100 are occupied by a 35,000m2 6-star Luxury Hotel complemented with a cathedral-like glazed sky-garden animated by various activities.

Linking all these elements is the podium that is driven by a retail environment that emphasises local identity, excitement, and economic vigour. This will become Shenzhen’s most prominent retail address and a destination in its own right.

The design provides retail access from every side and there is no dead frontage.

Retail mall

Car parking for the retail mall is located on the third and fourth floors of the podium, meaning that customers can walk straight from their vehicles into the mall on the same level. This greatly increases the convenience of vehicular access compared to traditional underground car parks.

Due to this convenience, and the ease of access to the mall for pedestrians on all sides, for occupants of the tower and for residents of the development, the mall will feel like a naturally connected “high street” rather than an enclosed and isolated shopping centre.

The mall thus acts as a connector which links all elements of the development and also integrates it well with the neighbourhood at street level.

As well as providing social and cultural continuity, KK100 is integrated with the metropolitan transport network, which is crucial for a high density project such as this.

The connectivity between the various components of the masterplan on various levels was critical; the tower is integrated with the podium on various levels while retail and public uses at lower levels are integrated with the Metro system; the residential blocks are linked at the higher levels to create easier neighbourhood accessibility while direct office and hotel connections are also provided for easier movement of people.

The Tower serves as a ‘’Mini-city” which provides an amenity-rich focal point back to the community, offering a 24-hour city-life to be better for the environment and human interaction.

Sky garden

The public domain extends up the tower, with a “sky garden” housing restaurants and bars, as well as the hotel lobby, located right at the top of the building.

This means that the public are not excluded from full enjoyment of the tower, which is all too often the case. The vertical circulation is user-friendly for operations as well public use: (1) Lifts for the office are kept very direct and simple with only one double height transfer lobby.

This lobby again doubles up as a public space with opportunities for library, cafes, and viewing areas. (2) The hotel shuttle lifts brings the guests directly from ground-floor up to the 94th floor for check-in. The hotel lobby gives a unique experience and four local hotel lifts take visitors down to their rooms. (3) In case of fire, shuttle lifts will be used to assist total building evacuation.

One of the design features is the curving building profile.  This form alludes to a spring or fountain and is intended to connote the wealth and prosperity of Shenzhen.

The perimeter column arrangement provides each level with an unobstructed working environment and stunning views towards Lizhi and Renmin Park as well as over all Shenzhen and beyond.

It does not use the typical square foot print; the East / West façades being more slender and flared slightly so office floor plates are slightly bigger and the South / North façades that face Hong Kong and the Maipo marshes are wider. The slenderness brings certain challenges, most notably the swing or drift ratio and the robustness of the tower and performance of key elements.   Instead of putting generators on top of the building, the roof is constituted by a curved smooth glazed curtain wall and steel structure.

With Shenzhen’s growing population, clogged transport systems and an acute shortage of affordable land for development, the increased population density has become a major issue, therefore the logical key to a sustainable future is to build upwards. KK100, a major sustainable form of densification, will play an important contribution to meeting the ever-increasing demand for quality working and living space in the city.

The development accommodating large numbers of people into such a small footprint is better for the environment, as it puts less pressure on green spaces and local transport infrastructure while reducing suburban sprawl.  This major mixed-use development promotes the idea of living and working in the same place, and reduces the need for commuting. This lessens reliance on the car, a polluting force, and eases the pressure on public transport. KK100 is a town centre in its own right.

From an environmental point-of-view, the advantage of facing primarily North-South (particularly in China) is a reduction in the East and West ‘heat gain’ elevations.

The vertical fins help to reduce low-level glare and provide shading. Also, they are important for the fixing of maintenance systems. Major “green” proposals included an environmentally friendly built form and envelope design; energy-saving building-services systems; a free-cooling system; and advanced building energy and environmental simulations. During the building’s lifetime, the net aggregate of all these systems will contribute to the limitation of energy use and enhance the profile of the development as an environmentally aware and responsible contribution to the skyline of Shenzhen.

About TFP Farrells

Led by Sir Terry Farrell, TFP Farrells is a firm of internationally recognised architects and urban designers with offices in London, Edinburgh, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

The company is renowned for its expertise in architecture, urban design, regeneration, and planning. Farrells is a design-based practice that applies the highest standards of architectural imagination and design excellence to all aspects of a scheme, from initial design to project completion. The practice feels strongly about the creation of tangible civic realms – the vital spaces in between buildings. The large body of work generated by the office over forty years testifies to its wide-ranging experience.

TFP Farrells has a worldwide portfolio of high-profile building schemes and masterplans in cities as diverse as London, Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul, Sydney, Seattle, Lisbon and Edinburgh. The practice has shaped the debate on architecture and urban design spanning four decades. Many of TFP Farrells projects have won international design awards and the company’s urban design work is featured in publications worldwide.

Fact Sheet:

Project Name
KK100 Development
Shenzhen, China
Shenzhen Kingkey Real Estate Development Co. Ltd
TFP Farrells
M&E Consultant
Ove Arup & Partners
Structural Engineer
Ove Arup & Partners
Ove Arup & Partners
Wind Engineer
Ove Arup & Partners
Traffic Engineer
Ove Arup & Partners
Façade Consultant
Arup Façade
LDI (Local Design Institute)
Huasen Architectural & Engineering Designing Consultants Ltd Shenzhen
Structural consultant
RBS Architectural Engineering Design Associates
BMU Consultant
E.W. COX Hong Kong Limited
Lighting Consultant
Tino Kwan Lighting Consultants Ltd
Commencement Date
May 2005
Completion date
December 2011
441.8 meters
Gross Floor Area
Site Area


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