Shanghai World Financial Center

The Shanghai World Financial Center is the tallest building in China. It is situated in the Pudong region of Shanghai, China. It was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox and developed by the Mori Building Company. It is a mixed use skyscraper which comprise of business offices, hotel rooms, conference rooms, observation decks and shops on the ground floors.

It is located in the centre of Lujiazui Finance & Trade Zone in Pudong. Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC) was completed in August 28, 2008 as the tallest skyscraper in China, even bigger than its neighbor Jinmao Tower. It has 101 floors and it is 492 meters high. It was at the top in the heights of roof and functional floor in 2008 when it was built, announced by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).


The Shanghai World Financial Center combines three structural systems and it consists of perimeter columns and beams, a central core wall, and an outrigger connecting both structures to assure incredibly high protection against earthquakes and strong winds typical for that area. The office tower has a diagonal-braced frame with exterior and core walls. The building is additionally supported by 2,200 steel tubing bearing piles inserted up to 78 meters into the ground.


Security is one of the most essential concern for one hotel and business building to take care of. The capability to withstand fire, wind and earthquakes is planned and defined at the very beginning of the design. SWFC can endure a massive 8 magnitude earthquake. There are fireproofed floors for escape; numerous sets of indicator lights to alert low flying aeroplanes, as well as two wind dampers to decrease wind acceleration by 40%. Because of the lightning conductors which are covering the building, its glazed glass skin also protects against lightning.

After situation of September 11th 2001, the building was redesigned to endure a disaster such as a plane crash including 12 fireproof refugee areas, and two external elevators, just in case.

In case of fire or earthquake, there are evacuation floors on seven floors for people to evacuate. Pressurized flame-retardation system is using outside air and it stops the inflow of smoke into evacuation floors. World Financial Center is equipped with 44 double-deck elevators for smooth and effective vertical transport to the observatory, hotel, office floors, and retail galleria. The hotel ensures steady energy supply 35 KV 3-circuit system. Additional power capacity can be ensured if required.


Basement two to F3 is maintained for shopping malls. Conference facilities and offices are distributed on F3-5 and F7-77. The Park Hyatt Hotel is positioned on F79-93 and F94-100 is used for sightseeing and as tourist attraction. The sightseeing hall was opened to public on August 30. It rated the tallest sightseeing hall in the world by the time it was built.


The building of the tower was funded by various international companies, including Chinese, Japanese, and Hong Kong banks, as well as by the Japanese developer and American and European investors.

The construction started in 1997 and continued right after a six-year shutdown triggered by the Asian economic crisis. With the plan to break record and become the tallest building in the whole world, seven more floors were added after revisions to the earlier design. By the spire on the building, Taipei101 is the highest, but counting by roof height the Shanghai World Financial Center is a full 44 meters taller than Taipei 101.


Park Hyatt Shanghai is the hotel, containing 174 rooms and suites. Occupying the 79th to the 93rd floors, it is the second-highest hotel in the world, exceeding the Grand Hyatt Shanghai on the 53rd to 87th floors of the nearby Jin Mao Tower.

World records plans

The Shanghai World Financial Center was planned to be the tallest building in the world when it was designed in 1997. The aim was to build building higher than the spires of the Petronas Towers in Malaysia. Unfortunately, in 2003, the 508 Meter Taipei 101 in Taiwan was already on the way to become the World’s Tallest Building. Plans where changed but the Tower couldn’t be built any higher than 492 meters, because of the foundation which was intended to support a 460 meter tall building.

Timeline of construction

– 1994. SWFC Determination of business plan

– 1998. SWFC Construction begins

– 2003. SWFC Construction resumes

– 2007. Topping-out Ceremony

– 2008. SWFC Completion