Located in Pudong  (a district of Shanghai east of the Huangpu River),  Shanghai Tower  is China's tallest building and second  to Burj Khalifa (is a skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. With a foot print of 30,368 square meters (about 326,878 square feet).  The building has a floor space of around 576,000 square meters (about 6,200,012 square feet), with 5 basement levels, 127 floors above ground and 5 podium floors. 

The Shanghai Tower was designed by the American architectural firm Gensler, with architect Jun  Xialeading the design team.

The tower takes the form of nine cylindrical buildings stacked atop each other, totaling 128 floors, all enclosed by the inner layer of the glass facade. Between that and the outer layer, which twists as it rises, nine indoor zones provide public space for visitors. Each of these nine areas has its own atrium, featuring gardens, cafés, restaurants and retail space, and providing panoramic views of the city.


Both layers of the façade are transparent, and retail and event spaces are provided at the tower's base. 2    The transparent façade is a unique design feature, because most buildings have only a single façade using highly reflective glass to reduce heat absorption, but the Shanghai Tower's double layer of glass eliminates the need for either layer to be opaque. The tower is able to accommodate as many as 16,000 people on a daily basis.  

Shanghai Tower has world's highest indoor observation deck. From this height, one can enjoy a unique panoramic view of the Huangpu River, the Bund on the west, and several other skyscrapers like the Jin Mao Tower and the World Financial Center on the east bank. Tourists are recommended to visit the exhibition hall on floor B1 first, and then take the express elevator to the 118th floor directly within only 55 seconds. At last, see the exhibition of 'Shanghai Eye' on the 125th and 126th floors if time permits.

Shanghai Tower Construction

Because Shanghai is on an inactive seismic belt and the construction site is in a river basin, a firm foundation for this skyscraper is very important. To firm up the ground, engineers first put 980 foundation piles underground to a depth of 86 meters (282 feet), and then poured 61,000 cube meters (2.15 million cube feet) of concrete to set a 6-meter-thick (20-foot-thick) baseboard for anchoring the main building.

The exterior of the building spirals upward like a snake. It twists about one degree per floor to offset the wind effect on higher altitude. This is very important to a super tall building in Shanghai to withstand frequent typhoons.

The tower sports two glass facades, an inner one and an outer one, like overlapping "tubes". The space between the two "tubes" varies from 1 to 10 meters (3 to 33 feet) wide, providing more public space inside the building. At the mean time, the space functions as a heat insulation layer like in a thermos flask. This is environment-friendly and costing less.

Shanghai Tower Elevators

The building is serviced by 149 elevators, of which 108 are lifts. Three of the lifts can send passengers up to the 546 meters (1,791 ft) high sightseeing deck from street level within one minute, which is a world record holder.

Divisions & Functional Areas

As a complex super tall building, the Tower is subdivided into five main functional areas: 24-hour offices for multinational companies and financial services; super five-star hotels and support facilities, offering personalized service and amenities; high end retail shops etc; recreation zone, forming a new business and cultural center in the city, a clear departure from ghost town image of Lujiazui after working hours; conference facilities, including sightseeing rooms in upper floors, and a multifunction conference center measuring over 2,000 square meters (about 21,528 square feet) and a multifunction banquet hall measuring more than 1,000 square meters (about 10,764 square feet) in podium building.


1. "Taking Education to New Heights: Alum Designs Tallest Building in China". University of Colorado Alumni Spotlight. 2013. Retrieved 3 November 2013.

2.Shanghai Tower News Release" (PDF). Gensler. 28 November 2008.

3."Tallest Chinese building features indoor gardens". Shanghai Daily. 24 July 2008. Archived from the original on 16 December 2008. Retrieved 9 August 2008.

4. Woo Seung-hyun (2010). "Integrated design of technology and creative imagination on supertall building". Space

5. CleanTechies (25 March 2010). "The Shanghai Tower: The Beginnings of a Green Revolution in China".

6. Beaton, Jessica (8 February 2011). "Shanghai Tower: A 'thermos flask' to the sky". CNN. Retrieved 19 August 2011.