Shanghai Tower Tops Out at Twice the Height of the Shard

Posted on 5 August, 2013 by Neil Bird

The tallest building in the Far East topped out on Saturday at twice the height of London’s Shard. The Shanghai Tower is the latest addition to the city’s skyline as China strives to demonstrate its economic ascendancy in soaring steel and glass.

The commercial development will have cost an estimated £1.6 billion when the first tenants move in next year and will anchor the emerging financial district of Lujiazui. Only twenty years ago the land was just a rice field on the banks of the Huangpu River and its transformation has been nothing short of astonishing.

Towering above its neighbours (the Jin Mao Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Centre) the new building completes an impressive high-rise trio at the heart of the district. Its twisting form is designed to combat strong winds during typhoons and, when complete, it will provide over six million sq ft of office, retail and leisure space

It has been described as a ‘city within a city’ divided into a series of ‘neighbourhoods’ and public spaces which take their inspiration from Shanghai’s courtyard communities. It is a place where people will work, shop, socialise and even, according to lead designer Jun Xia, meet their future partners.

“It’s a dream. Some days you look at it and you still don’t believe your eyes, it is a symbol of China’s future.

“It is very youthful, it has lots of energy and it is very transparent. China will become more transparent. It is a trend,” he told the Telegraph.

The Shanghai Tower is second only to Dubai’s Burj Khalifa in the tall building stakes, but Jun Xia says that its height is irrelevant.

“There will always be another taller building. It’s not about the physical height but it’s about how high you can reach in terms of creating a meaningful, sustainable and human tall building,” he said.

According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), nine out of the twenty tallest buildings currently under construction are in China.

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