Shanghai holds the distinction of not only being the most populous city in China, but also the second most populous in the world. Besides, it is a global financial center, a transport hub, and one of the fastest growing cities worldwide in skyscraper construction. The Shanghai Tower is 2,073 feet, 127-story mega tall skyscraper, the tallest building in Shanghai and the world's 2nd tallest building. Shanghai’s first boom in the construction industry was in the 1920s and 1930s when the city was a multinational center of finance and business. There was so much foreign investment in Shanghai, which brought in Western architectural styles. The Communist takeover in 1949 stifled development in Shanghai, but economic reforms which commenced in the 1980s have led to a second boom in the construction industry of Shanghai.
The 5 Tallest Buildings In Shanghai
At the height of 2,073 feet, with 127 floors, Shanghai Tower is the tallest building in Shanghai. It is the property of Yeti Construction and Development, which is a consortium comprising several state-owned development companies; and was designed by Gensler, an American architectural firm, with a Chinese architect Jun Xia as the team leader. Its construction began in 2008 and was completed on 2015, with an observation deck being opened on the tower in 2016, effectively making it the world’s second tallest building. It is designed as nine cylindrical buildings, one stacked upon another; each having its atrium with retail space, cafes, gardens, and restaurants. It attracted two Russian and Ukrainian urban explorers in February 2014 and a Malaysian photographer in April the same year, who climbed to the top to take photos and videos, which they released on the internet.
Shanghai World Financial Center
At 1,614 feet, having 101 floors, the Shanghai World Financial Center is the second tallest building in Shanghai. The designers of the building were Kohn Pedersen Fox, an American firm and the Mori Building Company. The constructors of the building were the China State Construction Engineering Corp and Shanghai Construction (Group) General Co. A mixed-use skyscraper, it has offices, observation decks, ground-floor shopping malls, conference rooms, and hotels. Planning for construction began in 1997, with a temporary interruption by the Asian Financial Crisis that occurred in the late 1990s. Several multinational firms, which included Hong Kong, Japanese, and Chinese banks, funded the construction; Mori Building Company, the Japanese developer, also financed it. It was completed in 2008. It has an observation tower at the top, which is open to the public. Its distinguishing design feature is its trapezoid aperture at the peak. The building contains the offices of many international financial firms, including Ernst & Young, Morgan Stanley, and the Korea Development Bank.
Oriental Pearl Tower
At 1,535 feet, with 153 floors, the Oriental Pearl Tower ranks third among the tallest buildings in Shanghai. It was designed by Jiang Huan Chen, Zhang Xiulin, and Lin Benlin. Construction began in1991 and was completed in 1994. It was the tallest Chinese building until 2007 when the Shanghai World Financial Center was completed. The tower has 11 spheres, with the highest being 46 feet in diameter. Three enormous columns that start underground support the structure. It contains 15 observatory levels, exhibition facilities, a small shopping center, and a revolving restaurant. It has an antenna used in the broadcasting of TV and radio programs. The China National Tourism Administration has classified it an AAAAA site. At night, it is lit brightly by different LED sequences.
Jin Mao Tower
At 1,380 feet, and having 88 floors, the Jin Mao Tower is the fourth tallest building in Shanghai. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, a Chicago firm designed it. It has a postmodern form, with inspiration from traditional Chinese architecture. The number 8 features heavily in its proportions, for example, 88 floors divided into 16 segments; this derives from Chinese cultural association of the number 8 with prosperity; in this regard, it resembles Malaysia’s Petronas Towers. It contains the Grand Hyatt Shanghai Hotel, offices, and a shopping mall.
Shimao International Plaza
At 1,093 feet, and having 60 floors, the Shimao International Plaza ranks fifth on this list of tallest buildings in China. It was designed by Ingenhoven, Overdiek und Partner, East China Architecture, and Design Institute, being completed in 2006. The building has two spires on its top. It houses the Le Royal Méridien Shanghai Hotel which has 770 rooms, plus a 9-floor shopping mall, and 3 floors of exclusive clubs. The building’s original developer was the Wan Xiang Group, but the Shimao Group bought the building from them in 2001, and they consequently changed the name to Shimao International Plaza.
Other tall buildings in order of height in Shanghai include Shanghai Wheelock Square, Plaza 66, Tomorrow Square, Hong Kong New World Tower, One Lujiazui, Bocom Financial Towers, Grand Gateway Shanghai I, Grand Gateway Shanghai II, IFC North Tower, Huamin King Tower, Bank of Shanghai Headquarters, IFC South Tower, Maxdo Centre, Renaissance Shanghai Zhongshan Park Hotel, International Ocean Shipping Building, and Plaza 66 Tower 2.