Construction update: Shanghai Tower rises up so quick!


Shanghai Tower, is a supertall skyscraper currently under construction in the Pudong district of Shanghai, China. Designed by Gensler, it will be the tallest of a group of three supertall buildings in Pudong, the other two being the Jin Mao Tower (421 m) and the Shanghai World Financial Center (492 m). Shanghai Tower is slated for a height of 632 metres with over 120 floors. When completed, it would become the tallest building in Shanghai, tallest building of any kind in China, and the world’s second tallest building, only behind Burj Khalifa.

Construction of the tower started on late 2008 and is expected to be completed by next year (2014). Looking from its current construction speed, I believed this tower would be completed on time without any major issues. Thanks to the impressive efficiency shown by the construction workers, the tower now reaches around the height of 530 metres, only around 100 metres left from its final peak. Its central core had almost reached its final level already, and the construction had approximately reached above 110th floor. What’s left would be only structures of several floors above, interior works, external cladding, services installation, and extension of its cladding to the top to reach full height. There is no spire in this design which I’m happy for it as such design is not suitable for an addition of pinnacle to raise its height.

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The tower is now expected to top out by end of this year. But from even now, it is the tallest building in China already, towering above its two neighbouring supertalls. Let’s move on to a bit of its design. The tower take the form of nine cylindrical buildings stacked atop each other, totalling 121 floors, all enclosed by the inner layer of the glass facade. Between that and the outer layer, which twists as it rises, nine indoor zones will provide public space for visitors. The transparent façade is a unique design feature, because most buildings have only a single façade using highly reflective glass to lower heat absorption, but the Shanghai Tower’s double layer of glass will eliminate the need for either layer to be opaqued.

This building looks impressive to me. I like how the idea of twisting form which symbolises something like a dragon flying up to the sky as reported by Chinese media and also the double-glass concept. Then, came a number of sustainability approach I have learnt from my previous research towards this building which is very good and helps to make it an efficient green building, a very essential element in buildings nowadays. The height is crazy, and I’m looking forward to visit the building if I am given the opportunity. What’s more impressive to me now is its construction progress. I was shocked just now when I checked on its progress. Too quick! Crazy! The tower now stands so huge and tall even when it’s not even finished yet. Marvelous! A massive architectural piece is coming up!

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Shanghai is so beautiful especially at night. It has one of the best skylines in the world. Too bad, I have had not been there before. Perhaps, I would choose to only visit the city once this Shanghai Tower is completed and opened to the public. It would be an impressive trip to me observing so many modern skyscrapers in the city. China is now in a massive construction boom. Even not long after Shanghai Tower is completed, its title of tallest building in China would quickly be overtaken by 660 m tall Pingan International Finance Center in Shenzhen by 2016.

(All images in this post are from skyscrapercity forum on topic of this particular building. Information in this post are from various credible sources throughout the world wide web)

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