Rising Above the Crowd: The Shanghai World Financial Center

Unveiling the Majestic Skyscraper of China's Financial Capital

In Shanghai’s Pudong neighborhood is the supertall skyscraper known as the Shanghai World Financial Center. Kohn Pedersen Fox created it, and the Mori Building Company and Leslie E. developed it.

China State Construction Engineering Corp. and Shanghai Construction (Group) General Co. serve as their main contractors, with Robertson Associates serving as their structural engineer. It is a blended-use high rise, comprising workplaces, inns, meeting rooms, perception decks, and ground-floor shopping centers.

The Park Hyatt Shanghai is the hotel component of the tower. It has 174 rooms and suites on the 79th to 93rd floors, making it the tallest hotel in the world when it was completed. After the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, which occupies floors 102 to 118 of the International Commerce Centre, it is now the third-highest hotel in the world.

History of the shanghai world financial center

Planned by American compositional firm Kohn Pedersen Fox, the 100-story tower was initially anticipated development in 1997, yet work was briefly hindered by the Asian Monetary Emergency in the last part of the 1990s, and was subsequently stopped to oblige configuration changes by the Mori Building Organization.

The tower’s construction was financed by several multinational corporations, including Chinese, Japanese, and Hong Kong banks, Japanese developers, and investors from the United States and Europe. The financing of the tower for the Mori Building was coordinated by the American investment bank Morgan Stanley.

History of the shanghai world financial center
History of the shanghai world financial center

Construction of the shanghai world financial center

On August 27, 1997, the foundation stone for the tower was laid. The Asian financial crisis of 1997–98 caused a funding shortfall for the Pierre de Smet Building Corporation in the late 1990s, which put an end to the project once the foundations were built. From the initial plans for a 460-meter, 94-story building, the Mori Group increased the building’s height to 492 meters and 101 stories on February 13, 2003. The original design’s foundations were used in the new building, and construction was resumed on November 16, 2003.

After the final steel girder was installed on September 14, 2007, the building reached its full height of 492 meters. The final cladding panels were installed in mid-June 2008, and the elevator was installed in mid-July. On July 17, 2008, the Shanghai World Financial Center was declared finished, and it was opened to the public on August 28. On August 30, 2008, the tower’s observation floors were opened to the public.

Construction of the shanghai world financial center
Construction of the shanghai world financial center

Event on the SWFC

On August 14, 2007, the unfinished SWFC caught fire. Around 16:30, the fire was first noticed on the 40th floor, and soon the smoke could be seen outside the building. The fire had been put out by 17:45. It was reported that there was little damage, and nobody was hurt in the accident. The fire’s cause is still unknown, but some sources say that the preliminary investigation suggested that workers were using electric welding machines to start the fire.

Architecture on the SWFC

The trapezoid aperture at the peak is the SWFC’s most distinctive feature. To reduce wind pressure stresses and refer to the Chinese mythological depiction of the sky as a circle, the original design called for a 46 m -diameter circular aperture. It also resembled a Chinese moon gate because of its circular shape in Chinese architecture.

However, some Chinese, including the mayor of Shanghai, Chen Liangyu, began to object to this initial design because they thought it was too similar to the rising sun design on the Japanese flag. Pedersen then suggested that a bridge be built at the bottom of the aperture to make it less circular. On October 18, 2005, KPF submitted an alternative design to Mori Building. In it, a trapezoidal hole was placed at the top of the tower instead of a circle. The architects said that this would not only change the controversial design but would also be cheaper and easier to implement.

There are three distinct observation decks on the tower

The floors above and below the aperture opening in the tower are made up of three distinct observation decks. The 94th floor’s lowest observation deck has a height of 423 meters; The second is at a height of 439 meters, on the 97th floor; also, the most elevated, on the 100th floor, is 474 m high

There are three distinct observation decks on the tower
There are three distinct observation decks on the tower

The skyscraper has a roof height of 492 meters, making it once the world’s highest. The SWFC’s total height was supposed to be 509.2 meters before the roof construction was finished, so it would be taller than the Taipei 101. However, a height limit was set, so the roof could only go up to 492 meters.

Modeler William Pedersen and designer Minoru Mori opposed ideas to add a tower that would outperform that of Taipei 101 and maybe One World Exchange Community, considering the SWFC an “expansive carried fabricating”. There are 31 elevators and 33 escalators in the SWFC, which has a gross floor area of more than 377,300 m2.

Structural efficiency SWFC

The trapezoid aperture of the tower is constructed of reinforced concrete and structural steel. The SWFC’s structure is affected by a lot of forces, including wind loads, building personnel, and heavy equipment housed there.

The design makes efficient use of materials by reducing the thickness of the outer core shear walls and the weight of the structural steel in the perimeter. These compressive and bending forces are carried down to the ground by the diagonal-braced frame.

Tenants of the SWFC

The office building for several international financial firms is located at Shanghai World Financial Center. These firms include Ernst & Young, Morgan Stanley, BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, Bank of Yokohama, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and Korea Development Bank. The 60th and 61st floors are where Google’s Shanghai office is.

Taking a Bird's View from the Recreation area Hyatt Lodging in SWFC Shanghai
Taking a Bird’s View from the Recreation area Hyatt Lodging in SWFC Shanghai

Transport in the SWFC

Shanghai’s subway: From Lujiazui Station on Line 2, it is a ten-minute walk to the center.

Awards Of the SWFC

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat honored Shanghai World Financial Center with both the Best Tall Building Overall and Asia & Australasia awards, naming it the best skyscraper built in 2008. Carol Willis, director of New York’s Skyscraper Museum and CTBUH, stated: The concept of the skyscraper is emphasized by its size and simplicity of form.

“Its innovative structural design was noted by architect Tim Johnson:” Steel trusses make the building lighter, use less steel, and contribute to its sustainability while also protecting it from wind and earthquake forces. The SWFC’s structure was “nothing short of genius,” according to Johnson.

Taking a Bird’s View from the Recreation area Hyatt Lodging in SWFC Shanghai

The Park Hyatt Hotel also offers a stunning view of the entire city. On the 87th floor, the hotel has a lobby with a cocktail bar. From the 100 Century Avenue Restaurant on the 91st floor, you can see the entire city from a perfect vantage point, including the top of the nearby Jin Mao Tower, the Oriental Pearl Tower, Pudong to its entirety, and numerous Shanghai icons.

Hotels near SWFC
Hotels near SWFC

Hotels near SWFC

  • Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai
  • Pudong Shangri-La, Shanghai
  • The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong
  • Wanda Reign on the Bund
  • Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai
  • Regent Shanghai at Pudong
  • Grand Hyatt Shanghai
  • Park Hyatt Shanghai
  • The Eton Hotel Shanghai
  • Oriental Pearl Tower Space Hotel

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