Free-Form Glass Structure at Xujiahui Commercial Center in Shanghai, China

Customer Project

Investor Sun Hung Kai Properties
Architect Ronald Lu & Partners (International) Ltd.
Structural Analysis & Design, Production and Assembly of Steel Structure, Glazing and Sun Protection Novum Structures LLC

A remarkable free‑form roof structure was built at the Xujiahui Commercial Center in Shanghai, China, and inaugurated in June 2017. It serves as a skylight in the indoor area of the shopping center, and as a canopy in the outdoor area.

Novum Structures LLC, a customer of Dlubal Software, was responsible for the structural design and final planning as well as for the fabrication and assembly of the entire structure. For the structural analysis and design according to Chinese standard, engineers from Novum Structures used the programs RSTAB and STEEL GB.


The total area of the roof is approximately 12,917 ft². Clad tree columns support Novum's Free Form System, which consists of rectangular hollow steel tubes and nodal steel disc connectors. For the columns, rectangular hollow sections or round tubes have been used.

The roof cladding consists of triangular units of insulated glass (indoor area) and laminated glass (outdoor area). Perforated aluminum panels on the outside reduce the sunshine reflection. The closure at the roof edges is accomplished with an aluminum bull nose with an integrated gutter.

The production and assembly of the roof structure were very challenging as each part of the structure and the cladding is of unique size.

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RSTAB Main Program
RSTAB 8.xx

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The structural engineering software for design of frame, beam and truss structures, performing linear and nonlinear calculations of internal forces, deformations, and support reactions

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Stress analysis of steel members

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Design of steel members according to the Chinese standard GB 50017-2003

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