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Shanghai World Financial Center

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Shanghai World Financial Center, the biggest skyscraper in Chinese mainland and the third-tallest in the world after Burj Dubai and Taipei 101, was officially inaugurated on 28 of August 2008. The 492-meter-high building is in the Lujiazui area of Pudong District, the "Wall Street of China," overlooking the Huangpu River. It covers an area of 381,600 square meters. It has 101 floors above ground and three floors underground, according to its builder, the Shanghai Construction Group.

The first two floors are commercial with the third to fifth floors for conference centers. The seventh to 77th floors will house offices. The 79th to 93rd floors will be the Park Hyatt Shanghai hotel, which is expected to test run on Monday. The 94th to 100th floors are an observatory for sightseeing and will be open to tourists on Saturday. The observatory on the 100thfloor at 474 meters above ground is the tallest of its kind in the world.

Architecture

Shanghai World Financial Center

Shanghai World Financial Center

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.In fact, metal replicas of the building that function as actual bottle openers are sold in the observation deck gift shop.

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.

Awards

Shanghai World Financial Center was named by architects as the best skyscraper completed in 2008 receiving both the Best Tall Building Overall and Asia & Australasia awards from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). CTBUH's Carol Willis, head of New York's Skyscraper Museum, states: "The simplicity of its form as well as its size dramatizes the idea of the skyscraper." Architect Tim Johnson noted its innovative structural design: "Steel trusses gird against the forces of wind and earthquake and made the building lighter, made it use less steel, and contributed to its sustainability." Johnson described the SWFC's structure as "nothing short of genius."

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