Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Shanghai Tower Tour
CTBUH 2014 Conference: Shanghai
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See the report on the 2014 Shanghai Conference
September 19, 2014
Terri Meyer Boake, CTBUH Skyscraper Center Editorial Board, Professor, School of Architecture, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Shanghai Tower will be the tallest building in China when completed, standing at 632 meters in height. The construction tour of this magnificent building was certainly a draw for the CTBUH Conference and a highlight for the many delegates that were fortunate enough to sign up in time for the tour. The delegates were not to be disappointed.
The tour started in the main presentation center on the 8th floor, where the set of competition models is on display. It was interesting to be able to compare the potential offered by the competition entry with the winning scheme. After seeing a comprehensive video presentation on the tower’s design and construction that focused on its multiple services and expected LEED Gold certification, delegates took the elevator to the 119th floor. This floor is being completed as the main public observation level. The exterior roof observation level has yet to be completed, although the building is topped out.
Shanghai Tower Models Shanghai Tower Neighbors
Models of Shanghai Tower
View of neigboring buildings

Visibility had been a concern, as the top of the tower had been in and out of the low lying clouds for the better part of the day. But despite a grey drizzle, the Shanghai skies were quite clear, so the views to the ground and adjacent towers were surprisingly good. The observation level placed attendees well above the adjacent Shanghai World Financial Center and Jin Mao Tower, giving the tour delegates a first-hand experience of the commanding views that the tallest Chinese tower will have to offer the public when it opens its doors in 2015.

As the curtain wall installation is now complete, the project is being fitted with its service systems. The installation of these systems could be seen in progress on the 119th floor. Also visible were the details of the attachment of the exterior cladding system to the floor slabs, as well as details of the curtain-wall connections that will soon be hidden under interior finishes.

Views unobstructed by glazing were also possible at the location of openings for the crane lifts, providing an even more exciting feeling to this experience of extreme height, with mist wafting in for special effect.

Following the tour of the observation level, delegates proceeded back down to the main reception level, which is adjacent to one of the many sky gardens. The delegates had the opportunity to explore and photograph a finished 12-story atrium. These function as part of the double façade system and provide amenity and gathering spaces up the height of the tower. There are seven levels of sky gardens, and the plan shape divides these into three separate sections on each floor. The idea of the double façade is also to set occupants further back from the exterior glazing, to lessen the potential impact of the building height, should this prove difficult for them.
Sky Garden
Delegated photgraphing one of Shanghai Tower's atriums.
This is certainly one of the most dynamic towers in the world, in terms of its façade, space zoning and environmental strategies. It is quite the accomplishment for the team, and promises to add significantly to the skyscraper experience of the Pudong area.
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