Occupying pride of place in the financial heart of Pudong District, lies a monumental structure that was dubbed the second tallest building in the world and the highest in all of China at the time of its unveiling. Built at a staggering cost of US$ 1.20 billion the Shanghai World Financial Centre was first opened to the public in August, 2008 after beginning construction nearly a decade before in 1997. Designed by renowned architect Kohn Pedersen Fox the larger than life building was realized by the Mori Building Company from Japan and now serves as the city’s premier centre for finance and information with a variety of offices, businesses, shopping malls and conference facilities as well as hospitality giants occupying its confines.
Glittering above the cityscape at an impressive height of 1614.2 feet or 492m, the Shanghai World Financial Centre is a city in itself contained within one of the largest cities in the globe. Revered as one of the most iconic structures to be constructed in modern times in terms of design, the venue garnered the honour of being 2008’s finest completed skyscraper. Described as “nothing short of genius” in design according to renowned architect Tim Jhonson, the structure also bagged coveted awards for the Best Tall Building Overall at architecture awards in Asia and Australasia as well.
Boasting 101 floor levels and 91 elevators, the total floor area of the SWFC is a whopping 4,107,500 square feet. The ground floor of the SWFC replicates a vertical garden and contains a number of high end shopping malls. The SWFC’s most striking design feature is of course the trapezoid orifice at its summit which represents elements of Chinese mythology and the concept of a Chinese moon found in conventional architecture of the country. Locally dubbed “the bottle opener” replicas of the structure that also serve as functional bottle openers are available at the gift shop located at the SWFC’s observation deck.
Frequented by locals and tourists alike the venue also affords visitors unparalleled views of Shanghai from its observation deck which was the tallest of its kind during the period of the building’s completion. Located 1555 feet above the ground floor the observation desk provides breathtaking views of greater Shanghai and the Paris of the East as never before.
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