Home » Offbeat, Skyline

Reaching for the stars with Shanghai’s skyline revolution

18 November 2013 No Comment

With more than 1,000 tall buildings rising up across Shanghai in just two decades, China’s largest city has become a modern megatower metropolis. Boasting one of the most distinctive skylines on the planet, these five buildings are truly head and shoulders above the rest:

The Shanghai Tower

In a city where mega towers jostle for space amongst high-rises, there is no doubting the new rising star of the Shanghai skyline. The Shanghai Tower – due to open next year – is second only to Dubai’s Burj Khalifa in the ‘tallest building in the world’ stakes and is officially the tallest building in eastern Asia.

Shanghai-Tower-4

Image source

Shanghai-Tower-1

Image source

The 121-storey twisted tower, designed by architecture firm Gensler and situated in the heart of the Lujiazui financial district, will house shops, offices, hotels and cultural attractions, as well as an observation deck accessed by a 40mph elevator. At 2,073ft high, it’s more than 400ft taller than Shanghai’s previous tallest tower, the Shanghai World Financial Center.

Shanghai-Tower-2

Image source

Its distinctive skywards spiral design was created to not only to embody China’s rising status as a global financial power, but also makes it wind-proof and typhoon resistant.

Shanghai-Tower-5

Image source

Shanghai-Tower-6

Image source

Oriental Pearl Tower

Opened in 1994 after three years of construction, the Oriental Pearl Tower signalled the start of Shanghai’s second vertical construction boom. This radio and telecommunications tower, designed by Jiang Huan Chen, Lin Benlin and Zhang Xiulin, was China’s tallest structure until 2007 and continues to be a treasured tourist attraction.

Oriental-Pearl-Tower-1

Image source

It boasts 15 different observation levels, including one with a glass floor, as well as a revolving restaurant, hotel and shopping mall.

Oriental-Pearl-Tower-4

Image source

The design is based around a series of pearl-style spheres, with the two largest at opposite ends of the spire. Three columns that rise up out of the ground support the entire structure, which boasts a spectacular light show at night, making it a real jewel in the crown of Shanghai’s high-rises.

Oriental-Pearl-Tower-3

Image source

Shanghai World Financial Centre

If you’re looking for an iconic Shanghai high-rise, you’d be right on the money with the Shanghai World Financial Centre. It may have been recently overtaken as Shanghai’s tallest building by its near neighbour, but this skyscraper is still a status symbol of the city’s financial boom.

Shanghai-World-Financial-Center-1

Image source

Shanghai-World-Financial-Center-3

Image source

Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, it has the nickname ‘the bottle opener’ due to the large aperture at the top which allows wind to pass through, reducing the stress on the building.

Shanghai-World-Financial-Center-2

Image source

But it’s the public observation deck that’s truly worth the visit. At nearly 60ft higher than the deck at the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, it offers breathtaking views across Shanghai.

Jin Mao Tower

This distinctive tiered structure is a modern take of an Oriental gem. Jin Mao Tower, designed by renowned architect Adrian Smith, is a mirrored reflection of a traditional Chinese pagoda.

JinMao_Tower1

Image source

With its stunning blend of traditional and modern, Jin Mao Tower is one of a trio of mega towers, along with the Shanghai World Financial Centre and Shanghai Tower, which epitomises the city’s resurgence. At 88 storeys, it has this lucky number – associated with fortune and prosperity in Chinese culture – at its heart. But it wasn’t so lucky for French urban climber Alain Robert, who scaled the building in a Spiderman costume in 2007 – ascending his way to five days in a Chinese jail for his daredevil feat.

JinMao_Tower2

Image source

JinMao_Tower3

Image source

Shanghai International Finance Centre

All that glitters is truly gold when it comes to high-rise luxury heaven for these twin towers, which achieved LEED Gold certification.

Shanghai_IFC_3

Image source

Home to some of Shanghai’s most prestigious shops, brands and restaurants, the Shanghai International Finance Centre has shimmering angular corners designed to resemble the raw reflective beauty of diamonds and gems.

Shanghai_IFC_1

Image source

An exclusive shopping mall spans the area between the two towers, while the Ritz-Carlton at the top of the South Tower is the embodiment of hotel glamour, with its rooftop Flair restaurant the highest al fresco dining spot in the city. HSBC occupies the North Tower, symbolising the financial heavyweights behind Shanghai’s vertical expansion.

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.