Visit Shanghai World Financial Center with XcelTrip

XcelTrip|7 min read|Aug 10, 2019

The building located at 100 Century Avenue, Lujiazui. The number 100 in the address just corresponds to its floor count, this can also be found on Jin Mao Tower, which located at 88 Century Avenue, featuring 88 stories. SWFC is located very close to Jin Mao Tower as well as the newly built Shanghai Tower, these three iconic supertall skyscrapers were designed to be adjacent to each other, and the other landmark the Oriental Pearl Tower situated only a few hundred meters away.

Visit Shanghai World Financial Center with XcelTrip


The tower has 101 floors, and 492 meters or 1614-foot-tall, Shanghai World Financial Center was once the tallest flat top building of the world. Among the built or topped out skyscrapers exclusive of telecom towers, Shanghai World Financial Center ranks 2nd in Shanghai in height, and 5th in Mainland China, after Shanghai Tower, Shenzhen Ping An International Finance Center, Tianjin Golden 117 Tower, Guangzhou Chow Tai Fook Center. For the whole world, SWFC is the 10th tallest building of the world by standard height, see Ranking the tallest buildings for more details.


The maximum height people can get to is 100th floor, which is 474m above street level, an observation deck is set there. Just like the building itself, the observation deck was once the the highest one of the worlds, until Canton Tower's 488 meters outdoor observatory surpassed it. Now the observation deck of SWFC is 3rd highest of the world, after the 555 meters At The Top on Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the above mentioned Canton Tower.


Shanghai World Financial Trade Center is a mixed-use building, in which there are offices, stores, hotel, meeting rooms, observatory. The floors from 79th floor to 93th floor are occupied by a hotel, which is operated by Park Hyatt, the hotel features 174 rooms and suites. This hotel is the second highest hotel of the world, only second of Ritz Carlton Hong Kong which occupies the uppermost floors of 484 meters tall International Commerce Center in Hong Kong, even observation deck is set underneath that hotel. The floors above the 93rd floor is for mechanical use and sightseeing, the 55 m long view corridor on 100th floor was once the highest observation deck in the world and now ranks as third highest.


Shanghai World Financial Center was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, a New York based architectural firm. The most significant feature of the design is that huge trapeziform aperture on the top portion which used to lessen the impact of wind pressure, this wacky feature makes people referring to the building as a bottle opener. In fact, this sort of design is not so rare and unique, it can be found in some other cities, such as Duke Energy Center in Charlotte, Kingdom Center in Riyadh.

In the original design, the iconic huge aperture was intended to be circular shape, such design was inspired by an Ancient Chinese idea of 'round sky and square earth', additionally the empty circular aperture of SWFC together with several spheres on nearby Oriental Pearl Tower and Shanghai International Conference Center to form a distinctive spectacle of 'Virtuality and Reality' (In Chinese: "一虚一").

However, this is unfavored and objected by the local people, including the mayor, claiming the circular aperture is too similar to the icon on Japanese national flag. Since then, KPF changed the design to the trapeziform one as we see today. In fact, it becomes more convenient and cheaper for construction after the change of design.

Guide to Visiting Shanghai World Financial Center Observatory

Unlike the solemn name, Shanghai World Financial Center is not just for financial use, it has a series of upper floors open to public as viewing platforms, which known as SWFC Observatory, it's one of the most popular tourist destinations in Shanghai. In fact that iconic large aperture on the top of the building was just designed for the observation decks, the trapezoidal aperture starts from the height of 436 meters and ends at 474 meters, spanning nearly 40 meters of the total height of the building, the portion doesn't contain office space, but only the observation decks, the two column structures on the two sides of the aperture contain the tunnels for elevators that transport the tourists to the uppermost observation deck on the sky bridge. 


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