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KPF Completes Sculptural Office Tower in Shanghai

Located in Shanghai’s central business district, SOHO Gubei is inspired by Brâncuși’s ‘Endless Column’

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) is pleased to announce the completion of the SOHO Gubei office tower in Shanghai. Inspired by the proportions of Constantin Brâncuși’s ‘Endless Column,’ the tower presents itself as an undulating obelisk featuring a diagonally canted zig-zag profile. Each side of its sculptural form consists of four stacked volumes. A series of shifted grids creates a density of wall surface that shades from the sun, reduces glass glare, and creates a sense of urban solidity. Located near the new Hongqiao Central Park, the distinctive SOHO Gubei creates a signature landmark for Shanghai’s central business district.

“Shanghai is full of tall towers, but perhaps few that make such a high priority of sculptural simplicity,” said KPF President James von Klemperer. “In SOHO, we met a client who shared this goal. Founders Zhang Xin and Pan Shiyi pushed us to follow our initial idea all the way to completion. Together, I feel we’ve given the city of Shanghai a giant piece of public art.”

SOHO Gubei is composed of a 38-story office tower and a 12-story retail podium with below-grade parking. The podium massing complements the tower with a simpler articulation. The angles on its vertical planes place emphasis on the street experience by reflecting the residential neighborhood. On the top level, a sky garden offers dining and outdoor spaces to both the building tenants and the general public. The building’s completion was celebrated at a grand opening ceremony on February 28th attended by KPF President James von Klemperer, SOHO China Chairman Pan Shiyi, CEO Zhang Xin, cultural scholar Yu Qiuyu, and other high-profile guests with nearly 1,000 people in the audience. The event also marked the opening of Pan Shiyi’s personal photography exhibition in Shanghai. On display in the SOHO Gubei lobby, the exhibition includes over 80 portraits of entrepreneurs, scientists, scholars, actors, writers, construction workers, teachers, and children of Panji Village in Tinahsui Gansu.

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