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Thread: Shanghai's WTB

  1. #1

    Default Shanghai's WTB

    Shanghai Aims For World's Tall Building
    Shanghai to Resume Building World's Tallest Skyscraper, a Glass Office Tower

    The Associated Press

    SHANGHAI, China Jan. 31
    China's business capital has long yearned for an architectural landmark to fit its world-size ambitions.

    After years of delay, Shanghai may finally get it. Defying unease about eye-catching skyscrapers since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, a developer said Friday it will resume work this month on a glass office tower that will be the world's tallest building.

    Construction of the Shanghai World Financial Center started in 1997 but soon stopped as a financial crisis swept Asia. The site in the center of the city's new Pudong financial district has been a gaping pit ever since.

    While the developer struggled to raise money, city officials sounded upbeat, promising the project would one day resume.

    "The Shanghai World Financial Center will become a building matching the city's position as a world financial center," said a statement last February by the Pudong district government.

    The original blueprint called for a height of 1,518 feet, topping the current record holder Malaysia's 1,483-foot Petronas Twin Towers.

    Tokyo-based Mori Building Co. said it has changed the planned height, though the company and the city government refused to disclose the new goal until an official ribbon-cutting ceremony on Feb. 13.

    But "it will be the tallest building in the world," Mori spokesman Toru Nagamori said.

    The attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center raised doubts about the future of super-tall buildings.

    Other cities such as Seoul, South Korea have announced plans for record-setting skyscrapers. But after Sept. 11, projects including a tower planned by developer Donald Trump in Chicago have been scaled back.

    Experts said concerns about terrorism are a low priority in Shanghai, which is eager to become a business center to rival New York City or Tokyo.

    "Nothing less than the world's tallest building is suitable for Shanghai's ambitions," said Lu Yongyi, a professor of city planning at Tongji University in Shanghai. "Sept. 11 seems very remote from China."

    Of greater local concern has been the new skyscraper's signature feature an enormous round hole through the building near its pinnacle.

    A few in Shanghai said the hole resembled the rising sun flag of the building's Japanese developer, raising the still raw issue of Japan's World War II occupation. The city and Mori refused to discuss the criticisms.

    On a poster near the construction site, the tower and its hole looked more like a gigantic bottle opener.

    The new skyscraper will join a Shanghai skyline already crowded with futuristic buildings, many featuring sections shaped as orbs, discs and other eye-catching geometry.

    The building will overshadow its neighbor, the 88-story Jinmao Building China's tallest skyscraper and the third-tallest in the world.

    Most of the new tower will be office space, though 10 floors near the top will hold a hotel. Nagamori refused to say how much, if any, of the building's planned space had been leased.

    Lu said the building should have no trouble finding tenants, since demand remains high in Shanghai for first-class commercial space.

    Still, some Shanghai landmarks have boosted security since Sept. 11. The Jinmao Building requires key cards to reach most floors and has set up a 24-hour fire patrol.

    But Shanghainese seem to have embraced the new skyscraper.

    "We want the best and most symbolic buildings," said a marketing executive who is one of the Jinmao's tenants The Wall Street English School. He would give only his English name, Steve. "The same kind of terrorist attack won't happen here."

  2. #2

    Default Shanghai's WTB

    Nagamori refused to say how much, if any, of the building's planned space had been leased.

    No wonder.
    I think they just announce this construction to get the media attention at a time when the debate over the reconstruction of the TC lingers.

  3. #3
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    New York City

    Default Shanghai's WTB

    1641 feet, the developers say. *Taipei 101 will edge them out just barely.

    Yesterday I was riding the subway to work, and a man sitting near me was reading a paper printed in Chinese. *There was a large picture of the SWFC in the article he was reading; I wanted to ask him about it, but before I could my stop came up. *I guess that it was to say that the building was back on track.

  4. #4

    Default Shanghai's WTB

    KPF again !
    I bet they'll eventually have their part of the job at Ground Zero.

  5. #5

    Default Shanghai's WTB

    From Toronto Globe and Mail:

    Shanghai's skyscrapers fall from public favour

    Saturday, February 15, 2003 - Page A19

    SHANGHAI -- It is probably the world's biggest collection of postmodernist skyscrapers: Shanghai's vast skyline of more than 4,500 towers, built almost entirely during the economic boom of the past 15 years.

    Soon, the skyline will be even more crowded. This week Shanghai launched construction of what will be the world's tallest building, a 492-metre, 101-storey tower with a bizarre "moon gate" hole in the middle.

    But there are signs that Shanghai's love affair with the skyscraper is souring. The people of China's richest city are finally rebelling against years of profit-hungry development.

    In what could be the cutting edge of an Asian urban trend, civic leaders are demanding more green space, more historical preservation, more human-scale buildings and fewer dense city blocks of sun-blocking monstrosities.

    Disenchantment with the edifice complex is mounting. "The skyline of the whole city is in confusion," said Zheng Shiling, an influential architect and planner who heads the urban space committee at Shanghai's planning commission.

    "There are too many tall buildings. Profit-chasing by developers has destroyed the urban space. The competition for higher and higher buildings has created a dinosaur city, with more and more gigantic buildings, and it's not on a human scale. It's not good for the life of ordinary people."

    Shanghai still harbours a driving ambition to become one of the world's leading financial centres, in the same league as New York and London. Already it is on the verge of eclipsing Hong Kong as China's most dynamic city. Its economy grew by 11 per cent last year.

    Among the city's latest coups: capturing the World Expo for 2010 and the Special Olympics for 2007, winning a place on the Formula One auto-racing circuit next year, luring a Universal Studios theme park, which is slated to open in 2006, building the world's first high-speed magnetic-levitation train and the world's tallest hotel, and announcing plans for the world's tallest building, the biggest container port, the longest steel-arch bridge and even the biggest Ferris wheel.

    In many ways, it is a revival of the boom of the early 20th century, when Shanghai, known as the Paris of the East, was one of the world's fastest-growing cities, filled with beautiful, new Art Deco hotels and banking towers along the Bund, the city's famed riverfront.

    But the city's planners admit they made mistakes in the pell-mell construction boom that reinvigorated this city of 17 million people in the 1990s. In the space of just 10 years, more than 1.5 million low-income people were forced out of the city centre to make room for massive developments for the wealthy.

    The result is sterile, oppressive and haphazard. Now the city is struggling to define its greatness in a kinder and gentler way.

    There was virtually no urban planning in the country's biggest city during the past decade, even though China is ostensibly a centrally planned Communist country. People joked that the urban planning bureau was actually a "survey bureau" whose only task was to measure the newly completed towers.

    Nobody seemed to care that Shanghai was blindly copying Western architectural trends, producing vast numbers of "landmark" skyscrapers with kitschy "hats" on top, leaving the city littered with financial districts that became dead zones at night.

    "In the 1990s the whole country was keen to adopt something new, but it had no idea what, as long as it was new," Mr. Zheng said. "The city didn't pay much attention to planning. Now there is more thinking."

    Shanghai's recently completed Xintiandi neighbourhood, a cluster of boutiques and restaurants built behind the preserved facades of beautiful brick buildings from the 1920s, has emerged as the symbol of the new philosophy of historical conservation and street-level development. It has garnered praise and profits for its developer, inspiring similar plans in many other Chinese cities.

    In the city's planning museum, a huge room is filled with a gigantic model of what the city could look like in 2020. Even the model itself is touted as the world's biggest, and workers crawl across it every few days to add new towers to the skyline. But now, for the first time, vast swaths of green space have been added to the model.

    The museum promises that Shanghai will triple its public green space from 3.6 square metres per inhabitant today to a target of more than 10 square metres per resident by 2020. The city's new goal is to create "a harmonious ecological environment for human beings, to establish a 21st-century international metropolis," the museum declares.

    To curb and soften the excess growth, Shanghai has introduced new rules to lower the height of new buildings and density of neighbourhoods, to expand the green space and to preserve historical buildings. Even this, however, has been flawed as developers are now evicting residents and demolishing historical buildings to make room for parkland. "We've learned a lot from the past 10 years," Mr. Zheng said. "We want to be world-class in urban construction and design. But we still have a way to go."

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