Best Tall Building 300-399 meters Award of Excellence: Jumeirah Nanjing Hotel & International Youth Cultural Centre, Nanjing

Wenyi Shi
General Manager
Nanjing Hexi New Town Development and Construction Administrative Commission, Nanjing

Juan Liu
Lead Designer
Zaha Hadid Architects, Beijing

The Benefits of Building Up and Down Simultaneously

The Jumeirah Nanjing Hotel & Cultural Centre is the first tall building complex in China to be completely constructed by starting at grade and building upwards and downwards in tandem. Constructed in only 30 months, using 3D BIM design and construction management, reduced the on-site program by a year. This meant that work on the towers could proceed not only simultaneously with, but also independently of, below-ground construction, to complete one new level every three days with greatly improved efficiency. Permanent structural members were built in tandem with the site excavation, minimizing soil movements in addition to a significant reduction in the use of temporary supporting structures and scaffolds.

In addition to the choice of construction method, the project’s ultimate balance of design quality and speed of execution relied on parametric software to develop and rationalize the façade geometry. The team used Maya software to generate its principal geometry and Digital Project to rationalize its envelope design. A Revit model, with surfaces imported from these Digital Project files, was used to design internal layouts. The architects exchanged Revit files with the project manager, which used this software for planning coordination. The consulting structural engineer also used Revit to model its general scheme, exchanging files with the project manager, which also worked with PKPM, a Chinese structural design software. The steelwork contractors then used Tekla solid modeling software to complete the design and output data.

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