Shanghai Tower: World’s 2nd-tallest building underway

Shanghai Tower is seen among other skyscrapers in Shanghai, China.
Shanghai Tower is seen among other skyscrapers in Shanghai, China. PHOTO/FILE
China has completed the main structure of the Shanghai Tower, which is under construction in the country’s commercial hub of Shanghai.

Shanghai Construction Group Company Ltd., the building’s contractor, placed the the final beam on the skeletal structure of the 125-storey Shanghai Tower on August 3 – attaining the position of China’s tallest building and the world’s second-tallest tower after Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

Shanghai Tower, which is now 580 metres tall, is planned to reach a final height of 632 metres [just 200 metres shorter than Burj Dubai] upon completion in December 2014. The building will cost US$2.4 billion and it will replace Shanghai World Financial Center [completed in 2008] — as China’s highest building.

Fang Qingqiang, chief engineer of the construction project said: “The [Shanghai] tower will become a landmark building in Shanghai after it opens.”

Designed by US architectural firm Gensler, the glass-and-steel Shanghai Tower, includes commercial space, offices, exhibition and conference halls, recreational facilities, a five-star hotel and an outdoor sightseeing space on the 121st floor, according to Qingqiang.

The tower will break many world records, according to Hang Yingwei, President of Shanghai Construction Group. “This is the first time a tower weighing 850,000 tons is built on a soft soil foundation,” he told a news conference.

Yingwei said that 270 wind-driven generators will be installed on the 570m-high 124th floor, “which will be the world’s highest wind generators.”

Shanghai Tower’s general engineer Ge Qing said the building will include 21 hanging gardens to help alleviate the psychological discomfort that visitors may feel in the skyscraper.

But Shanghai Tower is likely to lose its status even before its official opening if the Chinese government approves construction of the proposed 838-meter-tall Sky City in Changsha city. Sky City is based on an ambitious completion plan of just 90 days.

(READ: Can China build the world’s tallest building in just THREE MONTHS?)

Sky City will be built in Changsha in China at an estimated cost of US$628 million. It will be taller than Burj Khalifa – which took more than five years to complete at a cost of US$1.5 billion.

China, which had only five skyscrapers [buildings towering over 200 metres] in 1990 had more than 250 skyscrapers by 2012. This number is expected to hit the 800 mark by 2016 – four times the current number in the United States.

(READ: Beijing’s tallest building breaks ground)