Behind the Concrete is a monthly snippet where we introduce a piece of architecture that has a unique design and/or interesting story.
Looking for a building that embodies Shenzhen’s meteoric growth? We present Shun Hing Square, located in Luohu District and finished in 1996, a time of heavy investment from the Hong Kong side of the border. The Cantonese romanization, Shun Hing, remains its official name, but to Mandarin-speaking Shenzheners it’s simply the Diwang (‘Land King’) Building, because its plot of land was the most expensive in the city when it was auctioned.
Sometimes built at an explosive rate of four floors every nine days and finished in just 40 months, the 384-meter-tall Diwang Building bolstered the legend of ‘Shenzhen speed’ and briefly served as the tallest building in China. Today, it’s still the 15th highest building in the country.
The main tower houses the expected offices and a 69th-floor viewing platform, and is topped by two syringe-like spires that give the building a distinctive look. The spires, illuminated by colored lights each night, also gave the Diwang Building an edge over other Shenzhen structures until the nearby KK100 snatched the tallest-building crown.
In 2015, Russian-Ukrainian daredevils climbed up the building’s tip-top towers, and the anxiety-inducing video has almost two million hits on YouTube.
Watch the gut-churning ascent below (VPN on):