Awe-Inspiring “Shanghai Tower” Skyscraper Honored as the Architectural Design of the Year

The Shanghai Tower

The stunningly modern Shanghai Tower borrows its name from the city in which it’s located. Designed by San Francisco-based firm Gensler, the structure rises high above the horizon line and is now China’s tallest building at 632 meters tall—making it an iconic part of the bustling skyline. The multi-use space is home to offices, entertainment venues, a luxury hotel, conference center, and other cultural amenities.

Boasting a futuristic look and feel, the 121-story skyscraper features a transparent, spiral form whose interior build is visible from the outside, giving us a firsthand look at the structure’s inner-workings. Once you’re inside, however, you realize that the exterior view doesn’t do it justice—the design has graceful, flowing curves that turn ordinary ceiling beams and window treatments into abstract works of art.

The Shanghai Tower has recently had the immense honor of winning the American Architecture Prize’s (AAP) Architectural Design of the Year. They note that the building is influential on a global architecture scale, but that it “also points the way forward for technical innovation accomplished within the parameters of a Chinese cultural identity.” Continuing, “…its function, identify, and symbolism are firmly rooted in the needs of its specific site.” Check out the other winners of the 2016 AAP here.

China's Tallest BuildingShanghai Tower Is A Multi-Use SpaceShanghai Tower Has Futuristic Look And FeelChina's Tallest Building Is 121 Story Sky ScraperTechnical Innovation Of The Shanghai TowerThe Inner Workings Of The Shanghai TowerSpiral Interior Of The Shanghai TowerStructure's Interior Becomes Abstract Works Of ArtShanghai Tower Offers Cultural AmenitiesAbstract Interior Design Of The Shanghai TowerShanghai Tower Is Full Of Graceful Flowing CurvesGraceful Flow And Spiral Work Within The Shanghai TowerTransparent Spiral Interior Of The Shanghai TowerShanghai Tower Is Influential On Global ScaleShanghai Tower Becomes Iconic Part Of Bustling SkylineGensler: Website
American Architecture Prize: Website

All photos by Connie Zhou.

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by David Teravagimov.

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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