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Chicago-Based Architects Behind New Chinese Megatall Skyscraper

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The new skyscraper would become the world's third tallest if built

Yet another megatall skyscraper could be landing in China, a country that is expected to have ten of the 20 tallest buildings in the world by 2020. However, the new conceptual tower plan for Shenzhen was designed right here in Chicago by bKL Architecture. If completed as proposed, the 700 meter-tall (roughly 2,297 feet) tower would become the world's third tallest, falling in line behind Saudi Arabia's Jeddah Tower and the UAE's Burj Khalifa. Besides being the tallest towers in the world, all three of these towers have something else in common — they were all designed by Chicago-based firms.

It's not unusual to see supertall and megatall towers designed by Chicagoans being built in developing nations. Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin explored this topic in depth a couple of years ago and found that names like Adrian Smith, Helmut Jahn, SOM, VOA Associates, Goettsch Partners, and Gensler's Chicago team all have made a notable mark on China's large landscape. bKL Architecture has designed numerous high-rises for Chicago, including the recently opened Wolf Point West tower and the upcoming MILA tower for Michigan Avenue, but the firm makes a big splash in the Far East with their latest megatall project.