China's tallest building nears finish in Shanghai

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Associated Press

Posted on August 3, 2013 at 2:01 AM

Updated Saturday, Aug 3 at 10:35 AM

SHANGHAI (AP) — A topping-out ceremony was held Saturday for China's tallest building in the financial hub of Shanghai when the final beam was hoisted to the top of the skyscraper and installed in a flag-waving ritual.

At 632 meters (2,073 feet), the Shanghai Tower in the city's Pudong district is the world's second-tallest building, surpassed only by Dubai's Burj Khalifa, which soars 829.8 meters (2,722 feet).

After the ceremony, workers will move onto the building's interior construction. Once it is completed next year, the Shanghai Tower will have retail and office space, a luxury hotel and likely a museum.

"I'm very proud," Wu Weiming, who helped installed the last beam, told reporters.

Designed by U.S. architectural firm Gensler, the glass-and-steel, 121-story building takes on a transparent and spiral form.

China's booming economy has fuelled a building frenzy, including some of the world's tallest buildings. The Shanghai Tower replaces the Shanghai World Financial Center — completed in 2008 — as the country's highest building.

The Shanghai Tower is the last piece in a group of super-tall skyscrapers in Shanghai's Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, which includes the Shanghai World Financial Center and Jin Mao Tower, both among the tallest in the world.

And in the south-central city of Changsha, developers are in the midst of building Sky City, an 838-meter (2,749-foot) structure that would overtake Burj Khalifa.

This summer, China also unveiled the world's largest building in terms of floor space in the western city of Chengdu. The New Century Global Center edged out the previous record-holder, the Dubai airport.

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