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Holy Smokes Batman! That is an Amazing Tuned Mass Damper [VIDEO]

When architectural designs hit Popular Mechanics Magazine, I know that they must be amazing. Robin would certainly have said Holy Smokes or some equally pithy comment to Batman about the Shanghai Tower and its massive, and I mean massive, “Tuned Mass Damper” or “Harmonic Absorber.”

The stats about the building are as large as the building itself. Designed by the Gensler team and built by the Shanghai Construction Group, the finished building stands 632 meters into the air over Shanghai. For those of you not into metrics, that is 2,073 feet five and 57/64 inches tall, second only to the Burj Khalifa tower.

The point that attracted Popular Mechanics to the building was the 5 story tall 1,000 plus ton Tuned Mass Damper designed to reduce the sway of the tower for its occupants. The massive steel plates are suspended over a 1,076 square foot copper plate covered with 125 powerful magnets that switch fields when the plates move and serve to “dampen” the sway of the building. Otherwise when the typhoon winds blow against the aerodynamically-designed tower, everyone inside would suffer from motion sickness, which is not a good thing for real estate brokers trying to rent the space.

There are a number of other creative things that the architects, engineers and contractors included in the skyline-changing tower including qualifying it for Leed credentials, creating massive green spaces and giving the tower a 120 degree twist to help it shed those typhoon winds.

You can see a slide deck of the sketches, floor plans and specifics in this excellent Slide Share program by Sanskrit and Jindal.


You can see the insane YouTube view from the ground to the top and read about the two daredevil Russians who climbed to the top of the tower before it was finished here:

You can also see the Gensler design in this brochure.

I would echo Robin’s comment. “Holy Smokes Batman!” That is some Tuned Mass Damper.