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A new high! Tower gets crowning glory
By Yang Jian

SHANGHAI Tower reached its full height of 632 meters yesterday, with the final beam placed on top of its 20-story crown structure.

A crane on top of the skyscraper hoisted the final 3-meter beam — tied with a red ribbon for the occasion — from the ground and carefully lowered it into position.

The crown includes a sightseeing platform at the 560-meter mark and floors for power and telecommunications equipment.

It also features a state-of-the-art damping system to stabilize the 137-floor skyscraper.

The 15 billion yuan (US$2.42 billion) tower in the Lujiazui financial hub in the Pudong New Area is the world’s second-tallest building — surpassed only by Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, which soars to 829.8m.

However, it will slip to third-tallest in 2016, with the completion of the 660-meter Ping’an International Financial Center in Shenzhen, in the southern province of Guangdong.

Along with the neighboring 492-meter Shanghai World Financial Center and the 420-meter Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai Tower is intended to cement Lujiazui’s reputation as a center for top financial companies and corporate headquarters.

Work began in 2008, and the tower, which includes four underground stories, is scheduled to open by late 2015.

It will feature offices, stores, a hotel and cultural facilities.

The crown will include a 2,000-square-meter screen and lighting system for light and laser shows, said Ge Qing, chief engineer for the Shanghai Tower construction project.

“There are scheduled to be different kinds of light shows for weekdays, weekends, festivals and special performances — such as the opening ceremony of the building,” said Ge.

Sha Xiaolan, the lighting designer for the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics and the Bund light show, has been invited to design the tower’s.

Ge said its light shows might work in tandem those across the Huangpu River on the Bund for special events and festivals.

An elevator that travels at 18 meters per second will take visitors to the 118th floor in 30 seconds. There they will take another elevator to the sightseeing platform on the 120th floor.

Visitors will also be able to go to the 125th floor to view the 1,000-ton domestically made damping system, said to be the world’s most advanced.

This ensures the stability of the skyscraper under strong winds, said Gao Zhenfeng, deputy chief engineer with the Shanghai Tower.

The tower’s glass facade should be complete by the end of next month, while all electrical facilities will be in place by the year end, said Gao.

It has been questioned whether Shanghai needs another super-skyscraper, especially so close to the Shanghai World Financial Center and Jin Mao Tower.

But developers are optimistic that the office space will be rented quickly by multinationals.

In the future, the Shanghai Tower, Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center will be linked by underground passages leading to Metro stations.

No more high-rises on this scale are planned in Shanghai.

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