The Shanghai Tower (center) under construction on 3 March 2013.
|Construction started||29 November 2008|
|Architectural||632 m (2,073 ft)|
|Top floor||556.7 m (1,826 ft)|
|Floor area||380,000 m2 (4,090,300 sq ft) above grade
170,000 m2 (1,829,900 sq ft) below grade
|Design and construction|
|Main contractor||Shanghai Construction|
The Shanghai Tower (Chinese: 上海中心大厦; pinyin: Shànghǎi zhōngxīn dàshà) is a supertall skyscraper 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 and the Shanghai World Financial Center. Upon its completion in 2014, the building will stand approximately 632 metres (2,073 ft) high and will have 121 stories, with a total floor area of 380,000 m2 (4,090,000 sq ft).
At the time of its completion, the Shanghai Tower will be the tallest building in China, and the second-tallest in the world, surpassed only by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. It will also become China's tallest structure of any kind, surpassing the 600-metre (2,000 ft) Canton Tower in Guangzhou. However, it will be exceeded in height by another Chinese skyscraper, the Ping'an International Finance Center, which is planned to reach a height of 660 metres (2,170 ft) upon its completion in 2016.
Planning models for the Lujiazui financial district dating back to 1993 show plans for a close group of three supertall skyscrapers. The first of these, the Jin Mao Tower, was completed in 1998; the adjacent Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC) opened in 2008.
The Shanghai Tower was designed by the American architectural firm Gensler. The tower will take the form of nine cylindrical buildings stacked atop each other, totalling 121 floors, all enclosed by the inner layer of the glass façade. Between that and the outer layer, which twists as it rises, nine indoor zones will provide public space for visitors. Each of these nine areas will have its own atrium, featuring gardens, cafes, restaurants and retail space and providing 360-degree views of the city.
Both layers of the façade will be transparent, and retail and event spaces will be provided at the tower's base. 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. Once opened, the tower is expected to accommodate as many as 16,000 people on a daily basis.
In September 2011, the Japanese firm Mitsubishi Electric Corp. announced that it had won a bid to construct the Shanghai Tower's elevator system. Mitsubishi Electric will supply all of the tower's 106 elevators, including three high-speed models capable of travelling at 1,080 metres (3,540 ft) per minute – the equivalent of 64.8 kilometres (40.3 mi) per hour, or 18 metres/second. At the time of their installation in 2014, they will be the world's fastest single-deck elevators (18 metres/second) and double-deck elevators (10 metres/second). The building will also hold the record for the world's furthest-travelling single elevator, at 578.5 metres (1,898 ft), surpassing the record held by the Burj Khalifa.
When completed, the Shanghai Tower will join the Jin Mao Tower and SWFC to form the world's first adjacent grouping of three supertall buildings. Its Jin Jiang Hotel, located between the 84th and 110th floors, will be the tallest hotel in the world at the time of its completion.
The design of the tower's glass façade is intended to reduce wind loads on the building by 24%, meaning fewer construction materials are needed, including 25% less structural steel; this is expected to save an estimated US$58 million in material costs. Though the majority of the tower's energy will be provided by conventional power systems, vertical-axis wind turbines located near the top of the tower will generate up to 350,000 kWh of supplementary electricity per year. The double-layered insulating glass façade is intended to reduce the need for indoor air conditioning, and is composed of an advanced reinforced glass with a high tolerance for shifts in temperature. In addition, the building's heating and cooling systems will use geothermal technology to provide energy.
The owners of the Shanghai Tower, Shanghai Tower Construction and Development, hope to be awarded certifications from the China Green Building Committee and the U.S. Green Building Council for the building's sustainable design.
Construction history 
In 2008, the site – previously a driving range – was prepared for construction, and a groundbreaking ceremony was held on 29 November 2008, after the tower had passed an environmental impact study. Construction of the tower will use sustainable techniques to make the building environmentally friendly and reduce energy usage.
By late April 2011, the tower's steel reinforcement had risen to the 18th floor, while its concrete core had reached the 15th floor, and floor framing had been completed up to the 4th floor. A repetitive slip-forming process was used to construct the tower's core floor-by-floor. By late December 2011, the tower's foundations had been completed, and its steel construction had risen above the 30th floor. By early February 2012, the tower's concrete core had risen to a height of 230 metres (750 ft), with around fifty floors completed.
By May 2012, the tower's core stood 250 metres (820 ft) high, while floors had been framed to a height of 200 metres (660 ft). By early September 2012, the core had reached a height of 338 metres (1,109 ft). By the end of 2012, the tower had reached the 90th floor, standing approximately 425 metres (1,394 ft) tall. By 11 April 2013, the tower had reached 108 stories, standing over 500 metres (1,600 ft) tall and exceeding the heights of its two neighbouring supertall skyscrapers, the Jin Mao Tower and the SWFC.
In the first months of 2012, large cracks began appearing in the ground near the tower's construction site. These were blamed on ground subsidence, which was likely caused by excessive groundwater extraction in the Shanghai area, rather than by the weight of the Shanghai Tower. In 2013, it was reported that the Shanghai Tower, along with numerous other large Chinese buildings, had been constructed with salt-rich concrete – a potentially serious corrosion risk to the tower's structural steel components.
Construction gallery 
See also 
- List of buildings with 100 floors or more
- List of tallest buildings in the world
- List of tallest buildings in Shanghai
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- Shanghai Daily (subscribers only). Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- "Shifting foundations threaten to undermine China's cities". The Guardian. 3 April 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Shanghai Tower|
- Official website
- 2012 Inhabitat interview with the tower's design director
- Gensler blog entries on the Shanghai Tower