Financial apocalypse be damned! The Shanghai Tower, set to reach a whopping 632 meters by the time it's completed, broke ground over the weekend. With its zenith a full 140 meters higher than the Mori Building (currently the world's highest observatory), it'll grab the honors of the tallest building in China.
The Shanghai Tower is organized as nine cylindrical buildings stacked one on top of the other with a double-skinned layer on the outside. The outside layer is triangular shaped and swivels as it reaches upwards. Designed by San Francisco-firm Gensler, the tower plans on accommodating offices, a luxury hotel, nine sky-gardens and various retail and cultural venues, as well as a new Shanghai Metro stop.
A lot of folks over here are saying that no matter how bad the current economic situation might get, the chances of this project losing funding is very slim. Ironically, this is probably due to the Mori Building, whose own construction was halted in its tracks by the Asian Financial Crisis—even if The Shanghai Tower turns out to be a money loser, there's no way the Chinese would've stood for having a Japanese building dominate their soil. [The Design Blog]