Special

The 20 Tallest Skyscrapers in the World

by Chris Newens  |  Published February 28, 2017

2. Shanghai Tower, China (632m, 2,073ft)

Supple despite its size, the Shanghai Tower twists between its neighbours  (Photo: Andy Miccone via Flickr)

With a twist, the Shanghai Tower contorted its way above its namesake city’s already looming skyline, opening in 2015 to become the building with the highest useable floor in the world (level 127 at 587.4 meters).

It was designed by the American firm Gensler, with Chinese architect Jun Xia leading their team. With its outer shell of glass removed, the bones of the tower would be revealed as nine separate cylindrical buildings stacked on top of each other. This, combined with a state of the art “vertical transport system”, which divides between express and “local” elevators illustrates further what just a casual glance would already tell you: that the Shanghai Tower is a whole city district encapsulated in a single tower.

Offering its visitors and residents everything from swimming pools to sky gardens to restaurants, it has proved a remarkably popular construction and is able to accommodate up to 16,000 people on a daily basis.