The 121-story Shanghai Tower is more than China's next record-setting building: It's an economic lifeline for the elite club of skyscraper builders.(emphasis mine)
Financial gloom has derailed plans for new towers in Chicago, Moscow, Dubai and other cities. But in China, work on the 2,074-foot (632-meter) Shanghai Tower, due to be completed in 2014, and dozens of other tall buildings is rushing ahead, powered by a buoyant economy and providing a steady stream of work to architects and engineers.
China's edifice complex is driven by a mix of demand for space in a crowded country with economic growth forecast at 10 percent this year and local leaders who want architectural eye candy to promote their cities as commercial centers.
Dozens of midsize Chinese cities are building new business districts to replace cramped downtowns. They look to the model of Shanghai's skyscraper-packed Pudong district — China's Wall Street — created in the 1990s on reclaimed industrial land.
"Governments are encouraging these iconic buildings in order to give a very clear message to the outside world: Please pay attention to our city," said Dennis Poon, managing principal of Thornton Tomasetti, the Shanghai Tower's structural engineers.
Well, then! What could go wrong with that plan?