The Shanghai World Financial Center

shanghai world financialThe Shanghai World Financial is a mixed use skyscraper with an imposing presence over the Shanghai skyline. It is considered as the tallest building in Mainland China and, currently, the second tallest building in the world. This skyscraper stands 492 meters high composed of 101 floors.


The Shanghai World Financial Center was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, an international architectural design firm based in the US. The planned construction for the skyscraper was initially scheduled in 1997. But due to the Asian financial crisis, the date was set back considerably. Part of the reason was also due to accommodating some of the design changes requested by the developer. Construction of the building resumed on November of 2003. The imposing skyscraper finally opened its doors for occupancy on August 28, 2008.

Design Features

A distinct design feature of the tower is its trapezoidal aperture located at the peak of the building. The original design opted for a circular shaped aperture that aims to reduce wind stresses as well as to integrate Chinese subtext’s into the design. But protests coming from the Chinese public, who saw the circular aperture as similar to the rising sun on the Japanese flag, led to a change in the design.

The tower has three observation decks. The highest is located on the 100th floor at 474 meters, making it the world’s tallest observation deck. The second observation deck is located at the 97th floor of the building while the lowest is at the 94th floor. The tower has a gross floor area of more than 377,300 square meters of space. Going through the different floors is made possible by its 31 elevators and 33 escalators.

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