Speakers

Bjarke Ingels

Bjarke Ingels

Founding Partner
Bjarke Ingels Group
“Social Infrastructure”
Kai Li

Kai Li

Vice President
Zhongtian Urban Development Group Co., Ltd
“Mediating Scale, Performance and Iconicity: A 21st Century Supertall Tower for Guiyang”
Wai Ming (Thomas) Tsang

Wai Ming (Thomas) Tsang

CEO
Ping An Financial Centre
“Ping An: Insurance and Tall Buildings”
Yongmin (Stephen) Yuan

Yongmin (Stephen) Yuan

General Manager – Risk Management Department
Ping An Life Insurance Company of China
“Ping An: Insurance and Tall Buildings”

Session Summary

Once again, the ballroom flywalls were opened and the entire Conference attendance gathered in unity for the Closing Plenary, Towards the Future. CTBUH Vice Chairman Timothy Johnson had the pleasure of introducing the three distinguished speakers, who each imparted their projects and philosophies that will come to define the future of tall buildings.

Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner, Bjarke Ingels Group, opened with a passionate call for a new generation of responsive design for tall buildings and architecture as a whole, accounting for cultural heritage, what he calls “social infrastructure,” and the critical merger of public and private urban space. Showcasing an impressive roster of projects in production around the world, Ingels backed up these imperatives with many of his firm’s recent pursuits, including the “courtscraper” known as Via 57 West in New York. The audience was also treated to a video depicting the vision for a 12-mile protective barrier that takes lessons learned from the Highline by incorporating myriad social and commercial spaces. Ingels noted, “Architecture and engineering is in a way the art and science of turning fiction into fact. We take something that is a pure figment of our imagination then through hard work and years of permits and tests it become concrete reality.”

Similar notions of social vibrancy were echoed by Kai Li, Vice President, Zhongtian Group, who disclosed how the Guizhou Culture Plaza Tower would become a central component of Guiyang, China’s emergence as a third-tier city built for people. Li welcomed SOM Design Director Colin Koop to the stage, who explained that the tower’s site along the nearby river was considered a critical civic axis of activity. As such, public access points to the tower at various levels became a primary driver of its design. Koop rationalized the tower’s unique structural super frame system, which resulted in not only an interesting design, but incorporates a silhouette that directly relates to the city of Guiyang.

The final presentation was given by Wai Ming (Thomas) Tsang, CEO, Ping An Life Insurance Company and Yongmin (Stephen) Yuan, General Manager, Risk Management, Ping An Property & Casualty Insurance Company. The presentation chronicled the development history of the Ping An Finance Center, touching on its various iterations in the design stage and the unique engineering aspects of its final incarnation. Yuan then delved into the “bread and butter” of the Ping An Property & Casualty Insurance Company, summarizing the complexities of risk analysis and insurance policies for tall buildings, which must consider copious variables like site dimensions, the likelihood of a natural disaster, and the type of construction activities required for development. In the case of Ping An Tower, an innovative risk control plan was developed to ensure the safety of workers and reduce the overall risk in developing the project.

Session Photo Gallery