Built at the heart of Lijiaziu finance and trade center in Pudong, the Shanghai World Finance Centre at a staggering height of 492 meters is the tallest building in the People’s Republic of China.
On the 27th August 1997 the foundation stone for the Shanghai World Finance Center was laid with the vision of it being the world’s tallest building. However due to the Asian economic crisis of the late 1990s work was temporarily interrupted owing to lack of funds. By the time work was resumed in 2003 Taipei 101 had already begun construction to become the tallest building in the world. Although the original height of 460 meters was increased to 492 meters it was not enough to surpass the height of the 508 meter Taipei 101.
Even though buildings such as Taipei 101 and Burj Khalifa of Dubai would not allow this skyscraper to grab the title of the globe’s tallest building, no one could argue that it is indeed a modern day architectural wonder.
When construction work restarted in 2003 architects Kohn Pederson Fox Associates and the East China Architectural Design and research Institute together with Mori Building Co made several changes to the original design of the structure. The consortium funding the project composed of more than 36 multinational firms (mainly banking corporations, insurance companies and developers from Japan) had to incur an additional cost of more than $ 200 million USD due to the sophistication of designs which included structural system and foundation re-design and increased safety features.
One of the major changes in design was seen in the most distinctive feature of the tower-the opening at the peak. This opening which was initially planned to be a circular aperture was later changed to a trapezoidal aperture. This change was brought on by protest from some Chinese who argued that the circular opening was too similar to the rising sun of the Japanese flag. The initial design would have enabled a tram-car system that would travel vertically inside the big circle and it would have also served to reduce wind load on the building. However a trapezoidal aperture was finally constructed as it was cheaper and easier to implement. The new design at the top of the spire gives it its nickname- The Bottle Opener.
The Shanghai World Financial Centre was designed so as to provide maximum safety and security to all. Architects added two tuned mass dampers below its observation to reduce the building’s sway and to reduce wind pressure during earthquakes and wind storms. After the events of September 11th, 2001, the tower was redesigned to withstand a disaster such as a plane crash.12 fireproof refugee areas, and two external elevators were included for additional precaution.
This national monument does not just serve as a landmark but is also an important business center, maintaining a position among the top ten most competitive financial centers of the world. Its 300 rooms on 101 floors houses conference rooms, a museum, offices, three levels of underground parking garage, retail shops selling branded products, a hotel and observation rooms.
The 6 star hotel occupying floors 79 through 93 is the second tallest hotel in the world after the one in the International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong. The observatory rooms at an elevation of 1549 feet above ground level offers a panoramic view of the city of shanghai. The observation bridge atop the building is the highest outdoor observation deck in the world. This is undoubtedly the best way to view the entire city, provided you aren’t afraid of heights!
Overall, this ingenious design uses significantly less material decreasing the thickness and weight of the walls. To add to the beauty and serenity of this much lauded structure glass and metal were covered on simple geometric bodies to create mysterious sight effects. The simplicity of the form as well as its size dramatizes its magnificence proving that less is always more.
If you are a business or leisure traveler looking for a shanghai hotel look no further than The Langham Yangtze Boutique Shanghai. Conveniently located at the heart of Shanghai’s business district, this enchanting facade with its 96 elegantly appointed rooms and suites recapture the glamour and grandeur of the era when Shanghai was famed as the “Paris of the East”. Esteemed for its inimitable shanghai art deco, superior services and culinary excellence The Langham Yangtze Boutique Shanghai is truly one of unique hotels in Shanghai.
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By xing419 from Pixabay