A topping-out ceremony was held on Saturday for what is, for now, China’s tallest building when the final beam was hoisted to the top of the Shanghai Tower.
At 632 metres and 121 stories, the project will be second only to Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, once is it opened in 2015. Although topped out, the current structure stands 580 metres tall while it awaits the completion of an external crown structure next year.
Between now and 2015, the building’s contractors will be busy finishing the interior of the building. Once it is completed, the Shanghai Tower will have retail and office space, and a luxury hotel.
The Shanghai Tower is said to complete a plan by the city government to have a trio of super-tall buildings in the heart of China’s financial centre. The tower, which is located blocks away from the 492-meter Shanghai World Financial Center, and the 420-meter Jin Mao Tower in the Lujiazui area of Pudong district, is seen as the final piece in creating a home for financial services companies in the area.
Designed by U.S. architectural firm Gensler, the glass-and-steel, 121-story building, which replaces the Shanghai World Financial Center as the country’s tallest building, has an unusual spiralling, cylindrical form which is said to lower wind resistance. However, the relatively low efficiency rating of the office space in the building, which results from this round cross-section, is said to make it less appealing to potential tenants.
Of course, there is the possibility that given its construction schedule Shanghai Tower’s reign as the country’s tallest building may be quite brief. As reported here previously, a developer in the city of Changsha in southern China has broken ground on a 838-meter tower that would overtake Burj Khalifa. However, many reports have indicated that the Changsha project, known as Sky City, has already been put on hold.
This summer, China also unveiled the world’s largest building in terms of floor space in the western city of Chengdu. The New Century Global Center edged out the previous record-holder, the Dubai airport.