World’s Second Tallest Building Completed in Shanghai

The Shanghai Tower has been officially completed as the tallest building in China and the second tallest building in the world.

View of Shanghai Tower from below
The spiral is not just aesthetic – it reduces wind load.

The tower was finished in late-2015 at a height of 632 metres, becoming the third building in the world to achieve the “megatall” (600-plus metres) designation.

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), which keeps a close eye and global database on these things says the completion of Shanghai Tower is especially notable for pushing Chicago’s 442-meter Willis Tower (originally Sears Tower), once the world’s tallest building, out of the Top 10 list for the first time since it completed in 1974. Willis Tower was among the Top 10 Tallest Buildings for 41 years, in which time the tower was overtaken by skyscrapers constructed primarily in Asia and the Middle East. Shanghai Tower has been added to the official CTBUH Current Tallest 20 list, which presents the world’s tallest 20 buildings as recognized by the Council’s Height Criteria.

design image of Shanghai Tower Lobby
The tower has a beautiful atrium lobby

Placed in close proximity to Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center, the new Shanghai Tower is a 128-storey mixed office & hotel (258 rooms) development. Its twisted shape is not just aesthetic; wind tunnel tests confirm a 24% saving in structural wind loading when compared to a rectangular building of the same height. The tower is uniquely organised into nine vertical zones rising from a light-filled garden lobby. Those “vertical neighbourhoods” are served by an astonishing 106 elevators, the fastest of which travels at 18 m/s to the observatory at 561m – over half a kilometre high.


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