Shanghai World Financial Center
History and museums
The Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC; Chinese: 上海环球金融中心) is a supertall skyscraper located in the Pudong district of Shanghai, China. It was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox and developed by the Mori Building Company, with Leslie E. Robertson Associates as its structural engineer and China State Construction Engineering Corp and Shanghai Construction (Group) General Co. as its main contractor. It is a mixed-use skyscraper, consisting of offices, hotels, conference rooms, observation decks, and ground-floor shopping malls. Park Hyatt Shanghai is the tower's hotel component, comprising 174 rooms and suites occupying the 79th to the 93rd floors, and constituting the second-highest hotel in the world after the Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, which occupies floors 102 to 118 of the International Commerce Centre.
On 14 September 2007, the skyscraper was topped out and is 492 meters (1,614.2 ft), making it the 8th tallest building in the world and the fourth tallest structure in Mainland China. The SWFC opened to the public on 28 August 2008, with its observation deck opening on 30 August. The observation deck offers views from 474 m (1,555 ft) above ground level.
The SWFC has been lauded for its design, and in 2008 it was named by architects as the year's best completed skyscraper. In 2013, the SWFC was exceeded in height by the adjacent Shanghai Tower, which is China's tallest structure as of 2015. Together, the Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai Tower and Jin Mao Tower form the world's first adjacent grouping of three supertall skyscrapers.
Designed by American architectural firm Kohn Pedersen Fox, the 101-story tower was originally planned for construction in 1997, but work was temporarily interrupted by the Asian Financial Crisis in the late 1990s, and was later paused to accommodate design changes by the Mori Building Company. The building of the tower was financed by several multinational firms, including Chinese, Japanese, and Hong Kong banks, as well as by the Japanese developer and American and European investors. The American investment bank Morgan Stanley coordinated the tower's financing for Mori Building.
The tower's foundation stone was laid on 27 August 1997. In the late 1990s, the Pierre de Smet Building Corporation suffered a funding shortage caused by the Asian financial crisis of 1997–98, which halted the project after the foundations were completed. On 13 February 2003, the Mori Group increased the building's height to 492 m (1,614 ft) and 101 stories, from the initial plans for a 460-metre (1,509 ft), 94-story building. The new building used the foundations of the original design, and construction work was resumed on 16 November 2003.
A fire broke out in the incomplete SWFC on 14 August 2007. The fire was first noticed on the 40th floor, around 16:30 (GMT +8), and soon the smoke was clearly seen outside the building. By 17:45, the fire had been extinguished. The damage was reported to be slight, and nobody was injured in the accident. The cause of the fire remains unknown, but according to some sources the preliminary investigation suggested workers' electric weldings caused the fire.
The building reached its full height of 492 m (1,614 ft) on 14 September 2007 after the installation of the final steel girder. The final cladding panels were installed in mid-June 2008, and elevator installation was finished in mid-July. The Shanghai World Financial Center was declared complete on 17 July 2008, and was officially opened on 28 August. On 30 August 2008, the tower's observation floors were opened to the public.
The most distinctive feature of the SWFC's design is the trapezoid aperture at the peak. The original design specified a circular aperture, 46 m (151 ft) in diameter, to reduce the stresses of wind pressure and to reference the Chinese mythological depiction of the sky as 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, Chen Liangyu, 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, would also be cheaper and easier to implement, according to the architects. Foreigners and Chinese alike informally refer to the building as "the bottle opener". Metal replicas of the building that function as actual bottle openers are sold in the tower's gift shop.
The tower features three separate observation decks which constitute the floors above and below the aperture opening. The height of the lowest observation deck, located on the 94th floor, is 423 m (1,388 ft); the second, on the 97th floor, is at a height of 439 m (1,440 ft); and the highest, on the 100th floor, is 474 m (1,555 ft) high.
The skyscraper's roof height is set at 492 metres (1,614 ft), and was at one point the highest roof in the world. Before construction on the roof was completed, the SWFC's total height was scheduled to be 509.2 m (1,671 ft) so that it would exceed the height of the Taipei 101, but a height limit was imposed, allowing the roof to reach a maximum height of 492 metres. Architect William Pedersen and developer Minoru Mori resisted suggestions to add a spire that would surpass that of Taipei 101 and perhaps One World Trade Center, calling the SWFC a "broad-shouldered building". The SWFC boasts a gross floor area of more than 377,300 m2 (4,061,200 sq ft), 31 elevators, and 33 escalators.
The tower's trapezoid aperture is made up of structural steel and reinforced concrete. A large number of forces, such as wind loads, the people in the building and heavy equipment housed in the building, act on the SWFC's structure. These compressive and bending forces are carried down to the ground by the diagonal-braced frame (with added outrigger trusses). The design employs an effective use of material, because it decreases the thickness of the outer core shear walls and the weight of the structural steel in the perimeter walls.
Shanghai World Financial Center is the office building for many international financial companies, including Banking, insurance, securities and fund management, such as Ernst & Young, Morgan Stanley, BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, Bank of Yokohama, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Korea Development Bank. Google's Shanghai branch also is located here.
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, stated: "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 guard 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."