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Shanghai Tower — China's Tallest Skyscraper

shanghai towerThe building on the right is Shanghai Tower.

Located in Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, Shanghai Tower, the world's second-tallest building at present, is 128 stories or 632 meters (2,073 feet) tall and is a premier Shanghai tourist highlight.

  • Rated: #3 on TripAdvisor out of more than 1,000 things to do in Shanghai
  • Height: 632 meters (2,073 feet)
  • Floors: 128 floors above ground and five below ground
  • Completion: 2014, opened to the public in 2016
  • Cost: about 2.4 billion USD USD
  • Chinese: 上海中心大厦, Shànghăi Zhōngxīn Dàshà

7 Facts about Shanghai Tower

  1. Shanghai Tower is the tallest building in China and the second-tallest building in the world.
  2. It has the world's highest observation deck on the 118th floor (546 meters; 1,791 feet).
  3. Shanghai Tower has the world's second-fastest elevators at a top speed of 20.5 meters per second (74 kph; 46 mph).
  4. Shanghai Tower has the highest indoor Chinese-style garden, Half Garden, which is on the 37th floor.
  5. It contains the world's second-highest hotel — J Hotel, which is located on the 84th to 110th floors.
  6. It was designed to be a Shanghai landmark and a financial icon in the center of China's financial center as well as to be part of a triangle of a super-tall cluster of buildings.
  7. The helical shape gives it an ultra-modern signature appearance.

Shanghai Tower Floor Layout

shanghai tower

Shanghai Tower Highlights

shanghai towerShanghai Tower (the tallest one)

Shanghai Tower includes observatories, conference rooms, a hotel, meeting rooms, a museum, shops, restaurants, gardens, and a mall.

Shanghai Tower Observation Deck on the 118th Floor

The observation deck is the world’s tallest observation deck and also the highest point in Shanghai. Tourists can take an express elevator to the 118th floor within 55 seconds.

The observation deck offers a 360-degree view. From there, you can capture a full view of the Huangpu River and see other skyscrapers, such as the Jin Mao Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Center. This is an especially good experience in the evening as all the lights around the city are lit and you can enjoy the beautiful night view of Shanghai.

There is also a post office and a "wishing tree". You can write postcards and deliver them to the world's highest mailbox or hang wishing cards on the wishing tree to send good wishes to the world.

J Hotel: World's Second-Highest Hotel

You might enjoy a stay in the luxury hotel that’s located on the 84th to 110th floors. It is currently under construction.

As of 2018, only the Ritz Carleton in the ICC Tower in Hong Kong that is at 484 meters (1,587 ft) is taller. Shenzhen's Ping'an Financial Center's hotel and Guangzhou's CTF Finance Center's Rosewood will be higher when opened in 2019.

Shanghai Tower Elevators: World's Second-Fastest Elevators

There are 106 elevators in Shanghai Tower. Among them, there are three super-fast elevators. The fastest elevator travels at a speed of 18 meters per second. It only takes 70 seconds to reach a floor.

Other Recreational Areas

Located on the 37th floor, Shanghai Guanfu Museum exhibits gold wares, porcelain, Buddhist statues, and ceramics, inviting you to explore the long history of Chinese civilization.

Shanghai Eye is located on the 125th and 126th floors. It is nearest to the sky than any other place in Shanghai. There is a 1,000-ton damper that stabilizes the tower. Tourists can explore it through the interactive hi-tech device.

Shanghai Tower Construction

shanghai tower

The building is built according to a recent innovation in very high skyscraper design. Like the rest of the world's tallest buildings built in the last several years, instead of having a simple steel girder framework for a skeleton, it has a thick concrete core.

Building in Shanghai is difficult because the land is sandy river delta soil and there are typhoons and earthquakes. The tower is built on 70-meter-long (200-feet) concrete piles.

To make the structure stable in strong winds, it has an innovative spiraling cylindrical shape that is aerodynamic. The distinctive helix shape looks beautiful.

It is a showcase of 21st century engineering. To save energy and provide extra protection, the tower is built like a thermos bottle with an outer skin consisting of two-layer glass facades.

The building is covered with two layers of glass for insulation, some water is recycled, some rain water is caught and reused, and wind turbines and solar panels help to produce energy.

Feng Shui in Shanghai Tower

Feng shui plays an important role in Chinese construction, especially in the construction of landmark buildings. Shanghai Tower, designed to be built as the tallest building in China, also incorporates the Chinese concept of feng shui.

Before the construction of Shanghai Tower, there were already two skyscrapers — Jinmao Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Center. Jinmao Tower was built in 1994. Its appearance takes the features of a tiered pagoda, gradually stepping back to create a rhythmic pattern as it rises. It is like a shining pagoda when reflected in the sunlight.

In 1997, construction of the Shanghai World Financial Center began. In order not to be overwhelmed by Jinmao Tower, it was built taller and its appearance is striking, as though there are two sharp knives on the sides.

Instead of being designed to overpower these two dramatic buildings, the construction of Shanghai Tower used the Chinese concept of “softness to overcome hardness”. It was designed to resemble a dragon spiraling upward, sitting in the Lujiazui area and manifesting its primacy. The upward spiral also suggests the rising of Shanghai’s economy.

Now, the three skyscrapers form a trio of signature buildings in Lujiazui. The “invisible feng shui war” came to an end.

Where to Shoot Wonderful Photos

shanghai towerYou can get such a picture in front of Jinmao Tower’s gateway.
  • From the 118th floor in Shanghai Tower: You can get shots of the Shanghai World Financial Center and Jinmao Tower from a high angle.
  • In front of Jinmao Tower’s gateway (opposite Shanghai Tower): You can get a picture of the three buildings standing side by side with an upward perspective.
  • Zhapulu Bridge: You can capture a complete view of the buildings in the Lujiazui area.

Shanghai Tower Travel Information

  • Address: Financial Trading District, Lujiazui, Pudong, Shanghai
  • Subway transport: Subway Line 2 to Lujiazui Station. Take Exit 4 and walk about 500 meters to Shanghai Tower.
  • Observation deck: ticket price, 180 RMB (28 USD); open 8:30am - 10pm
  • The view: The night lights and dusk sunset scenes are particularly amazing from the top floors, but in rainy and foggy weather you can see little.

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