Anyone riding past Beijing's Central Business District would be forgiven for thinking that Ridley Scott were building the set of Blade Runner 3. There's still time to enjoy the process and take some construction photos, as the tallest of the towers won't top out until next year.

Designed by TFP Farrells, Z15 Tower will be finished in 2017. On March 31, it finished pouring the concrete for the first 40 of its eventual 108 floors above ground, with another seven underground. It will reach 528 meters in total and become the tallest building in Beijing, towering over the China World Summit Wing by 198 meters. It will be almost double in height as the Titanic was long.

Just as most tall buildings in Beijing end up with public-generated nicknames, such as the CCTV Tower ("ThePants"), the National Center for Performing Arts ("The Egg") and the National Stadium ("The Bird's Nest"), the Chinese press is already calling Z15 Tower "the Chinese Zun (中国尊)." Ask your friends who studied classical Chinese, and they will tell you a zun is a wine vessel, used more than 2,000 years ago.

When completed, instead of being filled with Grace Vineyards goodness, there will be 2 million square meters of office space over 60 floors, 20 floors of six-star hotel accommodation, with 300 rooms and state-of-the-art facilities, 20 floors of luxury apartments, and a high-end shopping mall connected to the Beijing Subway. It will also have art galleries and a rooftop garden.

“Its greatest advantage is considering the overall urban spaces, architectural design and various engineering techniques in a unified manner to formulate a fully integrated urban design scheme in macro, meso and microscopic terms,” Yang Baojun, vice director and general planner of China Academy of Urban Planning and Design said. 

After its completion next year, Z15 will join the 10 tallest buildings in the world, nudging aside Taipei 101 by 20 meters, and becoming one of six buildings in China that are among the world's highest.

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Photos: hxsd, shangdu, wanzui

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