| | The Oriental Pearl Radio and Television Tower
The Oriental Pearl Radio and Television Tower stands in Pudong Park in the new and developing Lujiazui district on the banks of the Huangpu River. The tower was once the highest building in the city but now, although it's spire reaches higher than the Jinmao Building, it pales in insignificance compared to its mammoth neighbor.
The design for the Tower incorporates eleven spheres (or "pearls") and three gigantic columns linking the green grass below to the blue sky above. There are six high speed passenger elevators (although there are usually queues) inside the column taking visitors up to the viewing platform which affords great views over the city. One of the most impressive aspects of the building is the lighting. A computer controlled system alternates the light on the tower dependent on the weather conditions.
Although the Tower has now been surpassed in terms of height and design, many Chinese still see it as a fantastic symbol of the new Shanghai. Photographs and Postcards of the Building when it was first completed illustrate the gargantuan changes that have taken place in a short space of time here.
The jinmao building
The incredible Jinmao Building in Pudong (Shanghai's Wall Street) is the tallest building in China, the second tallest in Asia, houses the tallest hotel ever built and is currently the third tallest building in the world! On a clear day, the Jinmao acts as a beacon for locals and travelers who need to find their bearings, towering above the old city skylines. It is the center of gravity in the area as Pagodas were in ancient China.
The building is a superb design, combining elements of traditional Chinese architecture and a gothic influence to produce this amazingly modern building. Architects designed the building around the theme of the Chinese pagoda and the number eight. The lowest segment of the building is sixteen stories high and each succeeding segment is 1/8th smaller than its predecessor. The Jinmao is impressive from wherever you are in the city and when you are right next to it, other Shanghai skyscrapers look like lego blocks in comparison.
Inside the building there are various restaurants, food halls and bars and Shanghai's newest and most fashionable hotel, The Grand Hyatt. There is a viewing platform up on the 88th floor which, if you don't suffer from vertigo, provides unbeatable views over the city. It is hard to imagine just how high this is, until you actually get up there, but your ears will definitely "pop" at least two or three times on the way up!
The position of the building, in Shanghai's newest and ostensibly most trendy area, and the incredible design make the Jinmao one of the most spectacular and already most famous sites not just in Shanghai, but throughout China. And it is a fitting symbol of new Shanghai too: young, vibrant and inspirational.