Shanghai Tower, China’s tallest skyscraper, soars into the record books

Building features lifts that can shoot 119 floors in under a minute, and has enough wind turbines to produce 1.2 gigawatt hours of electricity

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 April, 2016, 3:44pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 April, 2016, 5:01pm

China’s tallest skyscraper – and second worldwide – has started trial operations, with its hyperfast lifts shooting passengers 119 floors in under a minute, mainland media reports.

The Shanghai Tower, which looms 632 metres above the Lujiazui Central Business District in China’s largest city, is a symbol of the country’s economic success.

Shanghai Tower, the world’s second tallest skyscraper, to open soon with super-fast lift that travels 18m per second

It took its builder, state-owned Shanghai Construction Group and US-based architecture firm Gensler, more than seven years starting in 2008 to complete the exterior of the building, with the project cost amassing to about 15.7 billion yuan (HK$18.7 billion).

While the building’s interior is still being fitted out, visitors can now ride three lifts that travel 18 metres a second – outpacing those in Taipei 101, thought to hold the current record for world’s fastest elevators – to observation decks on the 119th floor in only 55 seconds, according to the Liberation Daily newspaper.

Daredevils climb Shanghai Tower without safety equipment

The three hyperfast lifts are among a total of 154 lifts in the tower. Designers told the Shanghai-based newspaper that their special rails and aerodynamic shapes curb noise and vibrations while moving.

“Even a coin can stand on its edge steadily inside the running lifts,”the newspaper said.

The Shanghai Tower will also generate 1.2 gigawatt-hours of power from 270 wind turbines mounted about 580 metres above ground.

Even a coin can stand on its edge steadily inside the running lifts
Liberation Daily

Visitors will be able to enjoy concerts in an atrium on the 125th and 126th floors that can hold an audience of between 200 to 300 people.

Ge Qing, the chief engineer of the developer, says the venue, which features a huge tuned mass damper to reduce oscillations on the upper floors, has been tailored to serve as a perfect space for vocal performances.

The skyscraper damper, like others in skyscrapers around the world, will be open to public as a sightseeing spotlight.

The tower’s floor plans include hotels, offices, shopping complexes and public viewing areas throughout the building’s 128 floors.

Of the world’s top 10 cities with skyscrapers above 150 metres, Hong Kong has the highest number, while Shanghai claims fourth spot; Guangzhou, seventh; Chongqing, eighth, and Shenzhen, ninth.

At 830 metres and 160 floors, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, completed in 2009 and opened in 2010, has succeeded Taiwan’s supertall Taipei 101 to become easily the tallest structure in the world.