Winner of an international design competition, KK100 held the title of tallest building in Shenzhen from 2011 to 2016 and remains the tallest tower ever realised by a British architecture firm. It forms the centrepiece of an innovative high-density, eight-tower urban regeneration project.

The 3.6-hectare site was previously occupied by Caiwuwei Village, which comprised a tight cluster of tall village houses separated by tiny alleyways. Sunlight and fresh air were limited, and inadequate services and access contributed to decline.

A uniquely community-minded regeneration model was devised to overcome fragmentary ownership and enable redevelopment. Kingkey Development formed a joint development company with villagers, whose homes were reprovisioned in the form of spacious new flats above the landscaped communal podium. In addition, the villagers received second flats for sale or rent, ensuring significant financial return for the loss of their former dwellings.

The 100-storey, 441.8-metre tower contains grade-A office space, a six-star hotel, trading areas, conference and business facilities and a fitness centre. While the top of most skyscrapers is occupied by machinery, KK100 is instead crowned by a soaring glass-and-steel structure housing a sky garden and fine dining.

Advanced building energy and environmental simulation was undertaken during the design stage. Significant green elements include an environmentally friendly built form and building envelope, energy-saving building services, a free cooling system, and a direct connection to a metro station.