Bigger is better, developer decides midway
Updated: 2012-02-28 08:03
By Guo Rui (China Daily)
WUHAN - A developer is trying to revise the design of a skyscraper already under construction to make it the tallest building in China, but the city planning authority said it has not gone through any required procedure yet.
Plans for the 606-meter-high Greenland Center, being built in the downtown Wuchang area of Wuhan, capital of Central China's Hubei province, would be altered to make it China's tallest building.
Lu Zhenxing, marketing director for Hubei province at Greenland Group, a real estate developer in Shanghai, told China Daily that they are studying a new plan to heighten the Greenland Center from 102 to more than 125 floors so that it would replace Shanghai Tower (632 meters) as the nation's tallest skyscraper.
The project Greenland Center broke ground in 2011 and work is still being done on the foundation pit.
An official surnamed Yan from Wuhan's planning bureau said the change may be something the company would like, but added, "We have not received any information about it."
Yan told China Daily that any request to change an urban construction plan needs government approval.
Tan Tiejun, a planner at Hubei architectural planning and design institute, said: "It's an effective way to catch the public's eye, but it's not helpful for the rational urban planning."
Tan said many developer giants want to build mega projects for vast sums to promote their fame and image.
"It is not necessary to build so high a building, and it even destroys the surrounding environment," Tan said.
Tan told China Daily that the reason skyscrapers are springing up so fast is: "They (developers) are wealthy, and all the local governments welcome the large investment."
The industry needs to pay more attention to building common residences, Tan added.
Greenland Group held a news conference in June, saying the skyscraper, with 300,000 square meters of floor space and costing 5 billion yuan ($750 million), will include luxury hotel, office space, high-end stores and apartments.
The skyscraper is part of a planned commercial compound that will cover 3 million square meters and cost about 30 billion yuan.
In Wuhan, plans were drawn up for three buildings taller than 600 meters in the past year - the 606-meter Greenland Center, a 666-meter high-rise in Hanzhengjie Market and a 707-meter skyscraper along the Yangtze River in Jiang'an district.
In recent years, many Chinese cities have competed to create the highest building. Seven of the world's 10 tallest buildings are in China.
Hong Kong, Shanghai and Shenzhen led China's list of cities with the most skyscrapers in 2011. Less developed cities are also in that list, such as Guiyang, capital of Southwest China's Guizhou province, which ranks fifth with 17 buildings taller than 152 meters.
In a China Daily article on Dec 30, Shi Jiangguang, a professor at Xiamen University, wrote that modern high-rise buildings originated in the US and soon became an international phenomenon.
Shi quoted research saying that in the past 10 years, the number of buildings over 200 meters tall went from 286 to 634 and China is the busiest market, accounting for a third of these buildings.
Shi, a civil engineering professor, said people should respect the environment when constructing high-rise buildings and pay more attention to explore new structures and innovative design concepts.
Ye Qing, deputy-director of the Hubei provincial bureau of statistics, who is also a member of the National People's Congress, said he supports the Greenland Center project as long as it remains a thoughtful decision which can give Wuhan a new landmark.