Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC)

100 Century Avenue


Shanghai 200121

People's Republic of China


Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) 2008


The Shanghai World Financial Center is the tallest building in the People's Republic of China and when built was the second tallest building in the world. It has the highest observation deck in the world (on the 100th floor at 474m; the deck in the Burj Khalifa is disappointingly low down the building). Its construction begain in 1997 in the heat of the Asian financial crisis, so was stopped for several years, which were also used for design modifications that made the building taller and changed the shape of the hole at the top of the building. Its height and distinctive profile make it an iconic backdrop to many Shanghai views.



The building was conceived and developed by Mori Building of Japan, and is primarily high-end office space in the heart of Shanghai's Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, in the Pudong New Area. At the top of the building, immediately beneath the aperture, is the Park Hyatt hotel (79th to 93rd floors of the total 101).


The aperture towards the top, which reduces wind loading while allowing the building maximum height, was originally designed as a circle, instead of the squarer trapezoid shape that it has today. This proved controversial because of the buiding's Japanese developer: it was interpreted as the rising sun of the Japanese flag. The final shape was cheaper to build, and arguably more in keeping with the building's overall form.



The Shanghai World Financial Center heads, but does not dominate, the skyline of the financial district of Pudong.




Simon Glynn 2011

How to visit


To visit the building, you can explore the (ticketed) three observation decks, two below the aperture and one above; or go for a drink in the Park Hyatt immediately below the aperture.


Take Subway Line 2 to Lujiazui Station.


The building is next door to the Jin Mao Tower by SOM.


For more information visit the building's own web site at




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