|Tallest building on mainland tops out
The World Financial Center topped out on Sunday afternoon, reaching
492 meters in height and becoming the tallest building on the
mainland, the Youth Daily said today.
The completion at 5pm on Sunday was a week ahead of the current
schedule, despite of a fire in mid August that delayed construction
for about three days.
A viewing loft in the shape of an upside-down ladder now
can be seen clearly at the top of the building.
When completed, the tower will host office space, a hotel,
conference rooms, observation decks and shops. The hotel component
will open to the public with 175 rooms and suites in mid-2008
as the Park Hyatt Shanghai.
For six years after groundbreaking at the site in the mid-1990s,
the project was little more than a hole in the ground: The
Asian financial crisis had virtually obliterated demand for
new office space in Shanghai.
After the project was revived in 2003, the builders had to
alter a key design feature - a circular cutout near the top
- after complaints that it resembled the rising sun on Japan's
flag, a symbol reviled by many Chinese because of Japan's
brutal occupation of the country in World War II.
And earlier this year, the tower's builder, the Mori Building
Co of Tokyo, was criticized by Shanghai authorities for altering
the project's name to "Shanghai Hills" to link it
to its other marquee projects, the famed Roppongi Hills and
Omotesando Hills complexes.
The company said the formal registered name of the project
remained the Shanghai World Financial Center and "Shanghai
Hills" was merely a branding strategy.