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Modern Architectural Wonders of Shanghai

Shanghai is one of the biggest cities in the world, as well as a city with one of the most thriving urban designs in China. In Shanghai are located numerous modern marvels, especially among the Pudong District. Along the eastern shore of the Huangpu River are situated the Shanghai World Financial Centre, the Jin Mao Tower and the Oriental Pearl Tower, which dominate the skyline and are arguably the most impressive and distinctive modern buildings of Shanghai. The contemporary architectural design is basically everywhere in downtown Shanghai - from museums and art galleries, to pedestrian bridges and railway stations. Moreover, the spirit of modern Shanghai can be clearly felt during the night, when the skyline is covered by a beautiful concoction of lights and shadows.

Jin Mao Tower: the world’s finest skyscraper since the Chrysler Building


Architecturally a blend of the monumental Art Deco of the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings and the balanced composition of the traditional Chinese architecture of tiered pagoda, the Jin Mao Tower renews the long-standing Shanghai tradition of blending Western and Chinese styles, resulting in a dynamic hybrid that beautifully compliments the Bund’s colonial-era façades across the Huangpu River.  Like the Petronas Towers in Malaysia, the building’s proportions revolve around the number 8, associated with prosperity in Chinese culture. The 88 floors are divided into 16 segments, each of which is 1/8th shorter than the 16-story base. The tower is built around an octagon-shaped concrete shear wall core surrounded by 8 exterior composite supercolumns and 8 exterior steel columns. Three sets of 8 two-story high outrigger trusses connect the columns to the core at six of the floors to provide additional support. The enormous barrel-vaulted atrium, lined with staircases arrayed in a spiral, is the city’s most spectacular interior.


Gazing down on the atrium of the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Jinmao Tower.


Gazing down on the atrium of the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Jinmao Tower.
Jin Mao Tower (Jinmao Dasha, Chinese: 金茂大厦)
Location: 88 Century Boulevard, Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, Pudong, Shanghai
Chinese Address: 上海市浦东新区世纪大道88号
Constructed: 1994 – 1998
Height: 420 m (1,390 ft)
Floors: 88
Use: Office, Hotel (Grand Hyatt), observation (88th floor), retail
Architect: Adrian Smith of  Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)

Tomorrow Square


One of the city’s characteristic landmarks, thanks to the pincers on the roof.  The silvery futuristic skyscraper,  designed by the Atlanta-based architect, John Portman, is shaped like two squares on top of each other, with the upper on rotated at 45 degrees.


Tomorrow Square (Mingtian Guangchang, Chinese: 明天广场)
Location: 399 Nanjing Xilu, Western Side of People’s Square (Renmin Gongyuan), Huangpu District, Shanghai
Chinese Address: 上海市黄浦区南京西路399 号
Constructed: 1997-2003
Height: 286 m (938 ft)
Floors: 60
Use: Office, Hotel (JW Marriott), restaurant,apartments
Architect: John Portman & Associates

Shanghai World Financial Center: China’s Tallest Building


The Shanghai World Financial Center isn’t just well known—it’s been making headlines for more than a decade. Its original 1993 design was halted after foundations were completed, just before the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s. And the building also suffered a fire in August 2007, although damage was minimal. Named as the Best Tall Building in the World 2008 by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), the 492m-high Shanghai World Financial Center was designed by US super skyscraper specialist Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates.  The building’s most distinctive architectural feature is the aperture at the building’s top, which has a trapezoidal shape resembling a bottle opener. It was originally a circular shape (“moon gate”, a traditional element in Chinese gardens) but was changed after locals protested that the circular hole resembled the rising sun on the Japanese flag. The stunning all-glass 100th-floor observatory at the height of 470 m (1,542 ft.) is the world’s tallest observation deck.


World's highest observation deck inside the Shanghai World Financial Centre

World's highest observation deck inside the Shanghai World Financial Centre
Shanghai World Financial Center (Abbr.SWFC, Shanghai Huanqiu Jinrong Zhongxin, Chinese: 上海环球金融中心)
Location: 100 Century Boulevard, (Shiji Dadao), Pudong District, Shanghai
Chinese Address: 上海市浦东新区世纪大道100号
Constructed: 1997-2008
Height: 492 m (1,614 ft)
Floors: 101
Structure: Steel-framed and steel reinforced concrete
Cost: RMB 8.17 billion ( US $1.2 billion)
Use: Office, Hotel (Park Hyatt), museum, observation (94th, 97th and 100th floor), retail
Architect: William Pedersen of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)
Structural engineer: Leslie E. Robertson Associates RLLP (LERA)
Developer: Minoru Mori , Mori Building Co.
Website: www.swfc-observatory.com

Shanghai Tower: China’s Next Tallest Building


Standing 632m tall, Shanghai Tower will dwarf the neighbouring Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center upon completion in 2014


Standing 632m tall, Shanghai Tower will dwarf the neighbouring Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center upon completion in 2014
Reaching for the sky, the spectacular design for the Shanghai Tower is a twisting, winding marvel of modern architecture. At 632 meters (2,073 ft), Shanghai Tower is said to rise 140 meters higher than neighboring Shanghai World Financial Center –currently the world’s highest observatory – securing its title as the tallest building in China. Shanghai Tower emphasizes sustainable design and innovative high-performance features. Organized in nine cylindrical sections, the segments are placed atop of one another, the tower has a double-skin facade that encloses the stacked buildings, while a triangular exterior layer creates the second skin, which rotates as it rises. The spaces between the two facades create nine atrium sky gardens. Shanghai Center Tower, slated to be completed in 2014, will be the second tallest building in the world surpassed only by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which stands at 828 meters (2,717 feet).


The spaces between the two façade layers of Shanghai Tower create nine atrium sky gardens.


The spaces between the two façade layers of Shanghai Tower create nine atrium sky gardens.
Shanghai Tower (Shanghai Zhongxin Dasha, Chinese: 上海中心大厦)
Location: Yincheng Zhonglu, Pudong District, Shanghai
Chinese Address: 上海市浦东新区银城中路
Groundbreaking Date: November 29, 2008
Estimated Completion Date: 2014
Height: 632 m (2,073 ft)
Floors: 128
Cost: RMB 15 billion ( US $2.2 billion)
Use: Office, Hotel, observation, retail
Architect: Gensler, assistance from the Architectural Design and Research Institute of Tongji University
Structural engineer: Consentini Associates, Thornton Tomasetti

Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre


The Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre is a magnificent, glass-faced, flower-shaped building that houses a concert hall, entrance hall, opera theatre, exhibition space and performance hall – they form the five petals of a butterfly orchid. It was designed by French architect Paul Andreu, who was  responsible for the National Center for the Performing Arts (aka “The Egg”, 2007) in Beijing. To strengthen the effect of something delicate and unearthly, lights on the roof change color with the cadences of the music being played inside
Chinese: 上海东方艺术中心)
Location: 425 Dingxiang Lu,Century Park, near Yingchun Lu, Metro Line 2 Science and Technology Museum Station, Pudong District, Shanghai
Chinese Address: 上海市浦东新区丁香路425号
Constructed: 2000-2004
Auditorium capacities:
Philarmonic Orchestra Hall: 1,979 seats
Lyric Theatre: 1,054 seats
Chamber Music Hall: 330 seats
Phone: 020-6854-1234
Architect: Paul Andreu Architecte associated with ADPi and ECADI
Website: www.shoac.com.cn


Jiushi Corporation Headquarters


Jiushi Corporation Headquarters (Jiu Shi Tower, Jiushi Dasha, Chinese: 久事大厦)
Location: 28 Zhongshan Nanlu, Huangpu District, Shanghai
Chinese Address: 上海市黄浦区中山南路28号
Constructed: 1995-2001
Height: 168 m (551 ft)
Floors: 40
Use: Office
Architect: Foster and Partners

Oriental Pearl Tower: The Earliest Symbol of New China

Love it or hate it, the 468m-tall poured-concrete shocker of a tripod tower has become a symbol of Pudong and of Shanghai’s renaissance. Erected in 1995 and hailed as the tallest TV tower in Asia, the Oriental Pearl Tower features 11 differing sized spheres joined by three columns. The design is said to be based on a Tang dynasty poem that describes the tinkling of pearls on a jade plate: The silver and dark-red spheres represent the pearls, while the Huangpu River symbolized the jade plate. Still more fancifully, the architects liken the city’s Yangpu and Nanpu Bridges to “Chinese dragons frolicking with the pearls of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower.”  The tower is dazzling when illuminated at night and you can always join the queue for the stunning panoramas of Shanghai.

Oriental Pearl Tower (Dongfang Mingzhu Dianshita, Chinese: 东方明珠电视塔)
Location: 2 Lujiazui Lu, Huangpu District, Shanghai
Chinese Address: 上海市浦东新区陆家嘴路2号
Constructed: 1991-1995
Height: 468 m (1,535 ft)
Floors: 14
Construction Type: Concrete
Use: Communication, hotel, observation, restaurant
Architect: Jia Huan Cheng of Shanghai Modern Architectural Design Co. Ltd.

Shanghai Grand Theatre: Shanghai’s Lincoln Center
The Shanghai Grand Theatre, designed by French architect Jean-Marie Charpentier who achieved worldwide fame with the construction of the Bastille Opera House in Paris, incorporates the sweeping eaves of Chinese tradition with a futuristic use of plastic and glass, looks like a crystal palace when lit at night as the white arc-shaped roof joins coherently with the light-sensitive glass curtain wall. Located in the northwest corner of People’s Square, it boasts three separate theaters: a 1,800-seat main theater for ballet, opera, and symphony; a 600-seat medium theater for chamber music; and a 200-seat small theater for drama and fashion shows.

Shanghai Grand Theater’s flooring is made of Greece Crystal White marble


Shanghai Grand Theater’s flooring is made of Greece Crystal White marble
Shanghai Grand Theatre (Shanghai Da Juyuan, Chinese: 上海大剧院)
Location: 300 Renmin Da Dao, People’s Square , Huangpu District, Shanghai
Chinese Address:上海市黄浦区人民大道300号
Completion Date: 1998
Transportation: Metro Line 1, 2 & 8 People’s Square Station
Architect: Jean-Marie Charpentier of Arte Charpentier et Associés
Website: www.shgtheatre.com

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