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The Shanghai Tower — China's Tallest Skyscraper

The Shanghai Tower, the world's second-tallest building in 2018, is 127 stories or 632 meters (2,073 feet) tall and is a premier Shanghai tourist highlight.

Shanghai Tower Quick Facts

Shanghai TowerShanghai Tower
  • Rated: #7 on TripAdvisor out of more than 1,000 Thing to Do in Shanghai.
  • Height: 632 meters (2,073 feet)
  • Floors: 128 floors above ground and 5 below ground.
  • Completion: 2014, opened to the public in 2016.
  • Cost: about 2.4 billion USD
  • Chinese: 上海中心大厦 Shànghǎi Zhōngxīn Dàshà

Tourist Highlights

Records in 2018

  • Height: world's 2nd tallest building
  • Observation deck: world's highest observation deck on the 119th floor (561 meters)
  • Luxury hotel: world's 2nd highest hotel
  • Elevators: among the world's fastest elevators

Tallest Building in China

The building dwarfs the Shanghai World Financial Center and the 88-story Jin Mao Tower next to it. It is about 122 meters (400 feet) taller than Shanghai World Financial Center and the Taipei 101 too.

Some of the world's fastest elevators speed up and down at 65 kph (40 miles per hour). You may want to visit just for that experience.

J Hotel: World's 2nd Highest Hotel

You might enjoy a stay in the luxury hotel on the 84th to 110th floors. 

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 perhaps in 2018 or 2019.

Architecture

the Shanghai TowerThe Shanghai Tower with the Jinmao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center
  • Purpose: to be a Shanghai landmark and financial icon in the center of China's financial center and be part of a super-tall cluster triangle
  • Use of space: observatories, conference rooms, hotel, meeting rooms, a museum, shops, restaurants, gardens and a mall
  • Aesthetics: The helical shape gives it an ultra-modern signature appearance.
  • Ergonomics: The facilities are designed to make it a self-contained, livable, community.
  • Resource efficiency: 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.

Advanced Engineering

Shanghai TowerDesign sketch of the 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 Shanghai Tower vs The Burj Khalifa

shanghai tower now finishedIn 2013, the inner concrete core, around which the rooms were built, was exposed.

The present (2018) two tallest buildings are often compared. Both were largely designed by Marshall Strabala who is an American architect who specialized in designing the tallest buildings.

Height: The Burj measures 829.8 m (2,722 ft), so it is 198 meters taller. However, the top floor is only at 584 meters, the rest of it is unoccupied tower that ends with an antenna. So the top was mainly added for height and looks and functions as an antenna tower.

Functional height: The Shanghai Tower's top floor is higher, and it's observation decks (there are two) are higher. The public one on the 119th floor is at 561 meters compared to Burj Khalifa's 555 meter (1,821 ft) deck.

The view: From the Shanghai Tower, the view of the Huangpu River, the historic Bund district, and the Pudong cityscape is more beautiful compared to the dry desert, sea view and the small city of Dubai.

Travel Essentials

  • 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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