China’s Shanghai Central Tower has reached its peak height following nearly six years of construction.
At 632m, it is the second tallest skyscraper in the world after Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, which stands at 829m.
The tower has been under construction since November 2008, and has cost an estimated £2.8bn.
It has 121 stories, and a total floor area of 380,000m².
The tower takes the form of nine cylindrical buildings stacked on top of each other. It is enclosed by an inner and an outer glass façade. Indoor zones between the facades will provide public space for visitors. Each of these nine areas will have its own atrium, with gardens, cafés, restaurants and retail space.
The design of the glass facade is intended to reduce wind loads on the building by 24%. The façade is constructed from a reinforced glass which aims to act as an insulation and reduce the need for air conditioning.
The architects claim the design will save on construction materials needed, and that it has used 25% less structural steel than a conventional building of a similar height.
The Shanghai Central Tower was designed by the American architectural firm Gensler, with American-educated Chinese architect Jun Xia leading the design team.
The final stages of the Shanghai Central Tower construction, including the fit-out, are scheduled for completion later in 2014, and it will open to the public in 2015.
It forms a trio of skyscrapers that now dominate the Shanghai horizon, along with the Jin Mao Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Center.