Second tallest in the world

Second tallest  in the world

The tallest building in China and the second tallest building in the world, designed by the American architecture firm Gensler, has been completed.  The Shanghai Tower in China was ready towards the end of 2015 and stands 632 metres tall, becoming only the third building in the world to achieve the ‘megatall’ (600-plus metres) status.

As Shanghai is on a seismic belt and the construction site is in a river basin, a firm foundation for this skyscraper was critical. To firm up the ground, engineers put 980 foundation piles underground and then poured concrete to set a 20-foot-thick baseboard for anchoring the main building.

As the third tower in the trio of signature skyscrapers at the heart of Shanghai’s Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, the Shanghai Tower embodies a new prototype for tall buildings. Placed in close proximity to Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Centre, the new tower soars high above the skyline with its curved facade and spiralling form. But its twisting form goes beyond just creating a unique appearance; wind tunnel tests confirm a 24 per cent saving in structural wind loading when compared with a rectangular building of the same height. The tower twists about one degree per floor to offset the wind effect at higher altitude, helping the tall building withstand Shanghai’s frequent typhoons.

The tower also incorporates numerous green architecture elements, and its owners have received certifications from the China Green Building Committee and the US Green Building Council for the building’s sustainable design.

The Shanghai Tower sports two glass facades, an inner one and an outer one, like overlapping ‘tubes’.  The space between the two tubes varies from three feet to 33 feet,
providing more public space inside the building. The space also functions as a heat insulation layer like in a thermos flask.

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