May
23
2009

What is the Shanghai World Financial Center?

Shanghai World Financial Center - courtesy Micah Sittig - CC-BY

Shanghai World Financial Center - courtesy Micah Sittig - CC-BY

The Shanghai World Financial Center skyscraper in Shanghai, China. It is the second tallest building in the world and the tallest in mainland China, including Hong Kong. It is currently the world’s tallest completed building by roof. It tops out at 1,614.2 ft.

The most distinctive feature in the design of the building is an aperture at the peak designed to reduce the stresses of wind pressure. To some, the building resembles a giant bottle opener. The trapezoidal hole at the top of the Tower was originally a circle, designs where changed after the Chinese Government made claims in 2005 that the Japanese Funded Building’s circular hole was too similar to the rising sun on Japan’s Flag. Actually a trapazoid was much easier to build.  During construction, the building caught on fire, but with minimal damage. (video)

The Shanghai World Financial Center was planned to be the tallest building in the world when it was designed in 1997. The 97 Story building would surpass the spires of the Petronas Towers in Malaysia. When Construction was restarted in 2003, the Taipei 101 building in Taiwan was already underway to becoming the World’s Tallest Building. Plans changed but the Tower couldn’t be built any taller than its present height since the already completed foundation was meant to support a building of specific height and weight.  However all this is moot when the Durj Dubai is completed.

The Shanghai World Financial Center is the second tallest building in the world as of 2008. It is almost 60 feet shorter than Taipei 101 in Taiwan, although this is because of the spire atop Taipei 101. Counting by roof height the Shanghai World Financial Center is about 150 feet taller than Taipei 101.

For more information about China

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