Latitude/Longitude: 31.2367, 121.503
The most distinctive feature in the design of the building is an aperture at the peak. The original design specified a circular aperture, 46 m (151 ft) in diameter, to reduce the stresses of wind pressure, as well as serve as a subtext for the design, since “Chinese mythology represents the earth with a square and the sky with a circle”.It also resembled a Chinese moon gate due to its circular form in Chinese architecture. However, this initial design began facing protests from some Chinese, including the mayor of Shanghai, who considered it too similar to the rising sun design of the Japanese flag. Pedersen then suggested that a bridge be placed at the bottom of the aperture to make it less circular. On 18 October 2005, KPF submitted an alternative design to Mori Building and a trapezoidal hole replaced the circle at the top of the tower, which in addition to changing the controversial design, will also be cheaper and easier to implement according to the architects.In the eyes of some, the building resembles a giant bottle opener.
The elemental forms of the heavens and the earth are used again in the design of the building’s podium where an angled wall representing the horizon cuts through the overlapping circle and square shapes. The wall’s angle creates a prominent façade for the landscaped public space on the tower’s western side, and organizes the ground level to provide separate entrances for office workers, hotel guests and public access to express elevator service for Sky Walk visitors. The wall is expressed in Jura yellow limestone, and the base of the tower is clad in Maritaca green Brazilian granite with a split-face finish, which contrast beautifully with the metal of the circular wall and diaphanous glass skin enveloping the retail volume.
There are 3 observation decks in Shanghai World Financial Center. The height of its lowest observation deck is 423 m (1,388 ft), on the 94th floor, the second is 439 m (1,440 ft) high, on the 97th floor, named “Observatory Bridge”, and the highest is 474 m (1,555 ft) high, on the 100th floor.Admission ranges from 100 RMB for the 94th floor only to 150 RMB for all three observation decks.
The skyscraper’s roof height is set at 492 m, and has temporarily claimed the highest roof in the world. Before construction resumed on the roof, tower height was scheduled to be 509.2 m (1,671 ft) so the building would hold the title of the world’s tallest building (structural top) over the Taipei 101, but a height limit was imposed, allowing the roof to reach a maximum height of 492 m. Architect William Pedersen and developer Minoru Mori have resisted suggestions to add a spire that would surpass that of Taipei 101 and perhaps the Freedom Tower, calling the Shanghai WFC a “broad-shouldered building”. The SWFC boasts a gross floor area of more than 377,300 m2 (4,061,200 sq ft) and 31 elevators and 33 escalators.
In addition to intelligent office space that offers cutting-edge specifications and functionality, the Shanghai World Financial Center is also a mixed-use complex that features a five-star luxury hotel, sophisticated urban retail space, numerous tenant amenities, conference space, an open “green” area, and an observatory on the 94th through 100th floors.
• To protect the building from fierce winds, the Shanghai World Financial Center holds two tuned mass dampers below its observation floors to reduce the building’s sway during windstorms and earthquakes.
• After the events of September 11th, 2001, the building was redesigned to withstand a disaster such as a plane crash including 12 fireproof refugee areas, and two external elevators.
⇒ Architecture Guide to SHANGHAI