Jin Mao Tower * SHANGHAI

Today I watched the Discovery Channel. It talks about the architecture in Shanghai, China.

Being the fourth tallest building of the world and the second tallest building in China, Jin Mao Tower is located in the center of Lujiazui Finance and Trade Districts in Pudong. Jin Mao Tower can be conveniently accessed from either Puxi (the area west of the Hungpu River) by taking the tunnel (travel time is about two minutes) or the Hongqiao and Pudong International Airports (travel time is about 30 minutes) by car. Along with the Oriental Pearl Tower, it is a centerpiece of the Pudong skyline. It was surpassed on September 14, 2007 by the Shanghai World Financial Center.

The 88-stories Jin Mao Tower was completed in 1999. It is 420.5 meters (almost 1380 feet) tall and covers an area of 2.3 hectares (5.68 acres). The architect, Adrian D. Smith, of this skyscraper ingeniously combined the elements of traditional Chinese culture with the newest architectural styles of the time, which makes Jin Mao Tower one of the best-constructed buildings in China.

This building includes modern offices, a deluxe 5-star hotel – the Grand Hyatt Shanghai, exhibition halls, banquet halls, an observation deck, and entertainment facilities which is situated in the following levels: the 1st and 2nd floors form an imposing and bright lobby of the business area; the 3rd to the 50th floors are occupied by office spaces; the 51st and 52nd floors are the mechanical and electrical facilities center, which are restricted for the tower’s working staff; the 53rd to 87th floors are reserved for the deluxe Grand Hyatt Hotel of which, the 86th floor houses a club exclusive for the hotel guests and the 87th floor lodges the hotel restaurant; and, the 88th floor-the highest floor, is reserved for the tower’s observation deck, which can hold 1000 people at any one time.

The tower has the best elevators available. Two direct elevators operate at the speed of 9.1 meters (nearly 30 feet) per second that can send visitors from the ground floor to the 88th floor for only 45 seconds. There are also five to six elevators every 10 floors, which reduce waiting-time to 35 seconds even during rush hours.

The tower has an annex building 6-stories high which houses the exhibition halls, conference rooms, multi-function halls, grand banquet halls and a recreational center.

The basement of the tower is a parking area 3 stories deep, which can hold 800 cars and 2000 bicycles. The parking area is equipped with 360-degree surveillance cameras as a security feature of the building.

It was designed by the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Its postmodern form, whose complexity rises as it ascends, draws on traditional Chinese architecture such as the tiered pagoda, gently stepping back to create a rhythmic pattern as it rises. Like the PETRONAS Towers in Malaysia, the building’s proportions revolve around the number 8, associated with prosperity in Chinese culture. The 88 floors (93 if the spire floors are counted) are divided into 16 segments, each of which is 1/8th shorter than the 16-story base. The tower is built around an octagon-shaped concrete shear wall core surrounded by 8 exterior composite super columns and 8 exterior steel columns. Three sets of 8 two-story high outrigger trusses connect the columns to the core at six of the floors to provide additional support.

The foundations rest on 1,062 high-capacity steel piles driven 83.5 m deep in the ground to compensate for poor upper-strata soil conditions. At the time those were the longest steel piles ever used in a land-based building. The piles are capped by a 4 m-thick concrete raft 19.6 m underground. The basement’s surrounding slurry wall is 1 m thick, 36 m high and 568 m long, and composed of 20,500 m³ of reinforced concrete.

The building employs an advanced structural engineering system which fortifies it against typhoon winds of up to 200 km/h (with the top swaying by a maximum of 75 cm) and earthquakes of up to 7 on the Richter scale. The steel shafts have shear joints that act as shock absorbers to cushion the lateral forces imposed by winds and quakes, and the swimming pool on the 57th floor is said to act as a passive damper.

The exterior curtain wall is made of glass, stainless steel, aluminum, and granite, and is criss-crossed by complex latticework cladding made of aluminum alloy pipes.

Official dedication was August 28, 1998, a date also chosen with the number 8 in mind. The building was fully operational in 1999.

The Jin Mao Tower is owned by the China Jin Mao Group Co. Ltd (formerly China Shanghai Foreign Trade Centre Co. Ltd). It reportedly has a daily maintenance cost of 1 million RMB (US$121,000).

source from wiki and travelchina

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