Shanghai World Financial Center: China's tallest skyscraper
Shanghai World Financial Center: China's tallest skyscraper

On a trip to Shanghai, a highlight is to visit is the Shanghai World Financial Center. It is the world’s tenth tallest building, and the fifth tallest in Mainland China.

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 508 Meter Taipei 101 in Taiwan was already underway to becoming the World’s Tallest Building. Plans where changed but the Tower couldn’t be built any higher than its present height at 492 meters since the already done foundation was meant to support a 460 meter tall building.

• The structure features 3 floors of underground parking, shops and a conference center on floors 1 through 5, offices on floors 7 through 77, a hotel located on floors 79 through 93, and finally observation and exhibition areas on floors 94 through 100.

• To protect the building from fierce winds, the Shanghai World Financial Center holds two tuned mass dampers below its observation floors to reduce the building’s sway during windstorms and earthquakes.

• After the events of September 11th, 2001, the building was redesigned to withstand a disaster such as a plane crash including 12 fireproof refugee areas, and two external elevators.

• The trapezoidal hole atop the Tower was originally a sphere, 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.

• The observation bridge atop the building is the highest outdoor observation deck in the world.

• On August 14th, 2007 a few of the upper floors caught on fire during construction, the blaze was put out and nobody was hurt.

• The final steel girder of the building was installed on September 14th, 2007 when the building reached its full height of 492 meters.

• At 480 meters, the Shanghai World Financial Center is the second tallest building in the world as of 2008. It is 16 meters shorter than the 508 meter Taipei 101 in Taiwan, although this is because of the spire atop Taipei 101. Counting by roof height the Shanghai World Financial Center is a full 44 meters taller than Taipei 101.

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