Lonely Planet Writer

Shanghai Tower completed and named second tallest skyscraper

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The new Shanghai Tower has been named the second tallest building in the world.

The Shanghai Tower operates a light show shining the word "China" in Chinese during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The Shanghai Tower operates a light show shining the word “China” in Chinese during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Image by VCG/VCG via Getty Images

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat named the 632-metre-tall building the second tallest in the world and the tallest in China after it was completed in December 2015. The construction of the Shanghai Tower began in 2008 and has been plagued with delays, originally set for a 2014 opening.

A soft launch in June 2015 allowed some tenants into the building for interior construction. However, the opening date of the planned observatory on the 121st-123rd floors – the world’s highest – did not follow until August 2016.

Visitors reach the observation deck in another record holder; the world’s fastest elevator which travels at 20.5 metres per second, slightly slower than a cheetah. The deck allows for 360 degree views of the city below.

The Tower is just 200 metres smaller than Dubai‘s rival Burj Khalifa and when fully completed will be home to the world’s highest restaurant, hotel lobby and swimming pool with a view…at least until another building takes its place.

This article was updated 14 December 2016.