At 289-meters high, the TBA Tower, named after the Taiwan Businessmen Association of Dongguan, is identical in height to Munich’s Olympic Tower, Cleveland, USA’s Key Tower and the length of Star Trek’s original USS Enterprise.
Its shape resembles the sheng, a Chinese wind instrument consisting of vertical pipes, and has several distinguishing features besides height. For one, a gold level precertification by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design makes it the second biggest building in the world to obtain the honor.
At night, when power is in lower demand, the tower makes ice for cooling the next day. Ventilation channels in the ceiling provide air circulation when the fish-scale-shaped windows open. And each window pane is unique in shape, custom fit to its spot.
The tower’s advanced Intelligent Building Management System (IBMS) automates controls for temperature, lighting and air circulation to maintain climate and energy-saving goals.
The 6th and most of the 7th floors are devoted to the TBA, featuring a rooftop courtyard conference hall and a gallery that showcases association milestones with photographs and ornate memorabilia from appreciative organizations and government bodies.
Designed to accommodate 500 to 600 companies, the building has signed contracts with about 100, with half of them currently operating from the tower. When full, the TBA Tower will be occupied by 15,000 people, who’s companies pay an average of RMB 80 per sq. meter.
The tower runs 64 elevators. With an average speed of 4 meters per second, the fastest at 6 meters per second, they can start in the parking deck four floors below ground and reach the top in 46 seconds. In case of an emergency, the elevator car can connect to the one next to it for a ninja-style escape.
The five stories of the tower’s podium will be home to the King Mall when it opens May 1, 2015. As for the top floors, from 65 to 68, a luxury club with a bird’s eye view is in the works.
With the completion of the R2 subway line in 2015 the building will be connected to the veins of Dongguan. Then after its neighboring Dongguan Exhibition Center is replaced with Wang Fujing, and as the Min Ying Tower rises across the way over the next three years the city’s CBD will have already crowned a centerpiece landmark.