The ground breaking ceremony for the environmentally green building of the future took place on November 28, 2008. When Shanghai Tower is completed in 2014, its twisting design will be self-sustainable and able to withstand the high winds of a typhoon.
The mixed-use building is designed to essentially be 9 smaller buildings stacked on top of each other. It will contain office space, retail outlets, a hotel, residences and an entertainment complex. Each of the sky lobbies will contain a garden, and they are designed to be more of a town square than just a place to catch an elevator to the next section of the building.
The unique spiral design of the building does more than just look good - it collects rainwater that will be recycled for use in the towers heating and cooling system. Also, the entire structure will be powered by wind turbines.
Designed by Gensler, the architecture firm responsible for the Jet Blue Terminal at JFK Airport in New York City and the under-construction Ritz-Carlton Residences at LA Live in Los Angeles, California, the Shanghai Tower will measure 2,073 feet tall at the very top of its antenna. The roof height will be 1,856 feet, and will have the world's highest non-enclosed observation deck.
The 128-story building is designed with a one-of-a-kind double layered façade that is entirely transparent to help insulate it and thereby reduce the amount of energy needed to keep it cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
The spiraling of the tower was specifically engineered to help reduce the impact of the wind on the building, so it could be built using fewer construction materials than a typical building of its size.
Once it is complete, the Shanghai Tower Construction & Development Company hope to obtain environmental certifications from both the China Green Building Committee and the United States Green Building Council.
Sources: Gensler and Wikipedia