Shanghai Tower Facts and Introduction

Shanghai Tower is a megatall skyscraper located in Shanghai, China. Below is some facts and introduction of the building.

Shanghai Tower
Shanghai Tower

Name: Shanghai Tower,

Chinese name is “上海中心”, literally means Shanghai Center.

Location and Transportation:
The address of Shanghai Tower is 501 Yincheng Middle Road, Lujiazui, Pudong, Shanghai

 

Shanghai Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center
Shanghai Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center

Shanghai Tower situated very close to both the Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center, which are two other tallest buildings in the city. Due to its significant height Shanghai Tower is very easy to be seen from the Bund and many other different places in the city.

Shanghai Tower seen from the Bund.
Shanghai Tower seen from the Bund.
Shanghai Tower seen from the Shanghai City God Temple
Shanghai Tower seen from the Shanghai City God Temple

There’s a river named Huangpu River between the district where Shanghai Tower located and the Bund, and confusingly no bridges is built near the area, visitors cannot directly walk there from the Bund.

The good thing is that the basement of Shanghai Tower is connected to a station of subway, tourists can take line 2 to directly arrive at Shanghai Tower
Another way is to take the ferry, this is a good way for someones wandering at the Bund, just go to the wharf and buy a ticket, it costs only 2 Chinese Yuan, maybe it’s not as convenient as subway, but by this way you can enjoy the view of the river and the cityscape, after getting off of the ferry, Shanghai Tower can be definitely seen, just walk toward it, it may take 5-10 minutes to get there.
And bus and taxi are the other choices.

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Height:
Shanghai Tower has 128 stories above the ground, and 5 stories under the ground, the architectural height and the total height are all 632 meters, the structural height is 580 meters, the highest accessible point is at 587 meters.
As the originally planned spire of Shenzhen Ping An Financial Center was removed, Shanghai Tower’s height of 632 meters makes the tower the tallest building in East Asia, and the second tallest worldwide, only after Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
However, the structural height of Shanghai Tower is not the tallest in China, the uppermost part of the tower is comprised of parapet, a structure that cannot providing any floors, the roof of the tower is actually at 587 meters. The tallest building in China by structural height is a tower in Tianjin named Golden 117, which measured 597 meters to its roof.

The render of Shanghai Tower that seen from the above
The render of Shanghai Tower that seen from the above, showing the uppermost part comprised of parapet.
A closeup of the parapet of Shanghai Tower
A closeup of the parapet of Shanghai Tower

Although the roof height of Shanghai Tower is less than 590 meters, the structure above the roof is not spire or antenna but the parapet, visually there’s no difference between a building that topped with a parapet and a building reaching a same height by roof, in other words, visually it does exactly seem like a 632m tower measured to roof.

Shanghai Tower with the other two supertall of Shanghai
Shanghai Tower with the other two supertall of Shanghai

Functions:
Shanghai Tower is a mixed-use building, like other skyscraper buildings it also typically functions as office, hotels, and also providing the spaces for tourism or observation, retail, parking, exhibitions and art shows.
The first 5 floors are used for retail space, and office space occupies from 8th floor to 80th floor, the hotel occupies from 84th floor to 110th floor, the next 7 floors right above that are boutique office floors, and the uppermost 10 floors over 117th floor are for observation and mechanical uses. The image below shows the functions of each section of the tower.


A hotel named J Hotel occupies 20 floors of the tower, it’s operated by Jin Jiang International Hotels, and will open in 2017 to become the highest hotel in the world, surpassing the Ritz Carlton on Hong Kong International Commercial Center, which occupies the uppermost portion of the building while the same portion of Shanghai Tower is not occupied by hotel but the office and observatory, even so the hotel in Shanghai Tower is still higher than International Commercial Center by more than 30 meters.
The observation deck is at 118th floor and 119th floor, providing 360 degree views of the city.

There will be a book store opened to public on Shanghai Tower, it will become the World’s highest book store, occupying the 52nd and 53rd floor and 1st floor underground. This book store is a branch of Taiwan’s Eslite Bookstore, the branch is named Eslite life, it has a business area of 6500 square meters, the bookshop is more like a department store, aside from selling the books the store also sells audio-visual products, art wares, ornaments and even some snacks, however these stuffs can only be found at the first floor underground, the two floors at 52nd and 53rd floor are only for books, retaining a sense of cultural.
The parking lot is at 3rd to 5th floors underground, with a capacity of 1800 vehicles.

The 37th floor of Shanghai Tower is 173 meters off the ground, it will be occupied by an exhibition hall, named Guangfu Museum, it contains the preface hall, a porcelain pavilion, an gallery displaying the eastern and western culture, an art gallery, an olive garden, and a Chinese traditional garden named Half-acre Garden. Additionally the store and coffee shop can also be found, the exhibition hall has a total area of 4300 square meters, the Half-acre Garden will become the world’s highest Chinese traditional garden, at where the antique views is perfectly mixed with the modern.

The Half-acre Garden on 37th floor of Shanghai Tower
The Half-acre Garden on 37th floor of Shanghai Tower
The world's highest Chinese traditional garden the Half acre Garden
The world's highest Chinese traditional garden the Half acre Garden
Half-acre Garden on Shanghai Tower
Half-acre Garden on Shanghai Tower

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Design and Development:
As early as in 1993, the Shanghai authority had planned to build an adjacent grouping of three supertall skyscrapers in Lujiazui as the landmark for Shanghai. And the three towers would be built one by one from the shortest to the tallest, the first two towers are Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center we see today, they were built in 1999 and 2008 respectively.

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill's design for Shanghai Tower
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill's design for Shanghai Tower

For the design of Shanghai Tower, many international architectural firms had proposed many different designs, these firms includes Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Kohn Pedersen Fox, Gensler, Foster + Partners and the local firm Shanghai Institute of Architectural Design. At last, two designs came from Gensler and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill were shortlisted for the final election, the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill's design showing a pinnacle shaped tower while in the design of Gensler the tower is twisted in shape. after the appraisal and election Gensler's twisted design was adopted.
The San Francisco based architectural firm Gensler has designed many notable projects, including the Kennedy International Airport and San Francisco International Airport. Shanghai Tower is designed by a team from Gensler that led by a Chinese Architect Xia Jun.
Shanghai Tower has a total of 128 floors, the total floor area reaches up to 380,000 square meters, the shape of the tower is spiral, each floor is in rough an round-triangle and is slightly revolved compared to the below floor, consequently the highest floor revolved as much as 120 degree compared to the bottom floor, making the shape of the tower appears twisted, this sort of design can effectively lighten the impact of wind, moreover the spiral shape can also reduce the cost on construction material, reducing usage amount of steel by 1/4 in comparison to a same size tower with the normal design.
The design of Shanghai Tower is filled with green elements, the tower features all-glass façades, which can maximize the natural sunlight through the curtain walls, reducing the reliance on man-made light source, in consequence the energy cost and carbon emissions are greatly reduced, very beneficial for the environment of city.
The tower features a unique and unprecedented design of double-layer façade, which is divided into inner façade and outer façade. From the tower’s bottom to the top, there are 8 annular lobbies built within the ring shape spaces between the two layers, and there are some trees and other plants on these lobbies. The office spaces are inside the inner façade, the purpose is to reduce the cost on energy of indoor air conditioning system.

A close view of Shanghai Tower's two-layer façades.
A close view of Shanghai Tower's two-layer façades.
The interior view of the annular corridor between the two-layer claddings.
The interior view of the annular corridor between the two-layer claddings.

There are more than two hundred wind turbines installed at the peak part of the tower, used for self-producing the electronic energy using the wind power to save normal energy, in this way it can produce more than 1 million kWh of electric energy every year, the energy is used in the illumination of the building and other electrical uses. The wind speed can reach 8-10m/s at a height of 580 meter in Shanghai, very suitable for wind power generation.

The wind turbines used in wind power generation at the top floors of Shanghai Tower
The wind turbines used in wind power generation at the top floors of Shanghai Tower

According to estimates, all these environmental elements of the tower make the carbon emissions decreased around 25 thousand tons every year.

When nights come the crown at the uppermost part of the tower can not only display the lights in many different colors and can also display many kinds of images and even Chinese words in catering to some special events, this feature is very similar to some other buildings in Pudong.

The crown of Shanghai Tower showing the Chinese word "拜年“ (giving Chinese new year's greetings) at night.
The crown of Shanghai Tower showing the Chinese word "拜年“ (giving Chinese new year's greetings) at night.

The construction work on Shanghai Tower began in November 2008, it was contracted by Shanghai Construction Group. In September 2010, the foundation of the tower was completed and the tower started to rise above street level. In April 2013, Shanghai Tower surpassed Shanghai World Financial Center becoming the tallest building in Shanghai. The tower structurally topped out in August 2013 reaching the height of 580 meters. After a year in August 2014 the tower finally topped out on the peak of the crown at planned 632 meters, and in September all the claddings had done installed. The building was officially completed in April 2015.
The construction of Shanghai Tower costs 2.4 billion dollars, almost two times of the cost on the Shanghai World Financial Center which closely proximity to it.

Tourism and Sightseeing:

Main article: Guide to visiting the observation deck on Shanghai Tower

There are a series floors served for observation and tourism set in Shanghai Tower.

The main observation deck occupies the 118th floor and 119th floor, the 118th floor is at 546 m high and the 119th floor of tower is the highest place in Tower to watch the outdoor view, at a height of 552 meters above the street level its height is only second to the observation deck on Burj Khalifa, which is at 555 meters high. However, as of May 2017, only 118th floor is opened to public.

The interior view of the observation deck of Shanghai Tower
The interior view of the observation deck of Shanghai Tower
The interior view of the observation deck of Shanghai Tower
The interior view of the observation deck of Shanghai Tower
The words on the glass showing the height of the observation deck
The words on the glass showing the height of the observation deck

Nonetheless, the highest point tourists could get to is higher than Burj Khalifa, tourists could get to the 125th and 126th floor, which are 580m and 583m from the ground respectively, but outdoor views cannot be seen from there, these two floors are occupied by a concert hall and a exhibition hall at where visitors can watch some indoor equipment and some displays, the equipment includes a tuned mass damper, it is used for limiting the swaying at the upper part of the building.
The observation deck on 118th floor is an annular platform occupying an area of 2000 square meters, far more than the highest observation deck of Shanghai World Financial Center, which is a long and narrow corridor, and the views from some direction is blocked by two wall at two corners of the corridor, by contrast, because of the annular shape the observation deck on Shanghai Tower provides 360 degree view of cityscape of Shanghai.

The view of Pudong looked from the observatory of Shanghai Tower
The view of the city looked from the observatory of Shanghai Tower
Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center looked from the observatory of Shanghai Tower during the dusk
Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center looked from the observatory of Shanghai Tower during the dusk
looking to the south of the city from the observatory of Shanghai Tower
looking to the south of the city from the observatory of Shanghai Tower

Like observation decks on other skyscrapers, the observation deck on Shanghai Tower also has some small portion occupied by the café and souvenir shop, and a sky post office can also be found there, it is also possibly that there will be a section used for exhibition of history of world’s supertall skyscrapers.

To access to the observation deck, visitors need to go to the 2nd floor underground to take an elevator.
The elevators lead to the observatory travel at a speed of 20.5 m per second, breaking the highest record of 18m/s of Burj Khalifa, it takes only 55 seconds to reach the 118th floor where the main observatory located at.
And although Burj Khalifa still has the world’s highest observation deck, but to get there people need first go to the one on 124th floor and then get there by another elevator. The elevators in Shanghai Tower could directly get to the floor at 580m above ground at most, hence it broke the record of Burj Khalifa’s 504m of elevator travel distance becoming the world's longest travel distance elevators.

When the elevators are moving down they still can travel at a speed of 10m/s, it takes only 70 seconds to get to the first floor, by contrast, the elevators in Shanghai World Financial Center travel at a speed only 8m/s even when moving up.
There are 3 of this sort of high speed elevators in the tower, and there are also another 150 normal elevators in the tower used for people working inside the building to get to the office floors.
The trial opening of the observation deck on Shanghai Tower was launched in July 2016, and it offically opened to public on April 27th, 2017. Confusingly a standard admission cost only 180 Chinese Yuan, approximately 28 dollars, this is same with Shanghai World Financial Center even Shanghai Tower is much higher. By contrast, to access to the highest observation deck on Burj Khalifa need 95 dollars, and it’s just 3 meters higher. It seems the price of 28 dollars is temporary, when Shanghai World Financial Center was first opened, the observatory ticket cost only 24 dollars. The observation deck on Shanghai Tower is a newly opened observatory while two other adjacent tower have stood there for many years. And currently only 118th floor is opened while Shanghai World Financial Center has 3 different floors, so it makes sense to set the price low temporarily.
Moreover another higher observation deck at 121st floor will be opened to public in the future, once opened it will become the highest observation deck in the world with a height of 561 meters, surpassing the one on Burj Khalifa.

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