The new skyscraper with a strong reference to one particular number in its design and structure

Jin Mao Building


Jin Mao

Courtesy SOM

Location: Shanghai, China

Year completed: 1998

Stories: 88

Use: Multiple

Material: Mixed

Height: to structural top: 421 m / 1380 ft

to highest occupied floor: 366 m / 1200 ft

to top of roof: 370 m / 1213 ft

to tip of spire / antenna: 421 m / 1380 ft

Cladding: stainless steel / glass / aluminum / granite

Area: 266,000 square meters

Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Developer: China Shanghai Foreign Trade Center

Structural Engineer: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Services Engineer: Skidmore Owings & Merrill

  • The Jin Mao Building will be completed and dedicated on 8/28/98--a lucky date for the Chinese. 
  • Other references to the number 8 include the number of stories-- 88 -- which corresponded to the age of Deng Xiaoping, China's lengendary leader, at the time of the design competition. 
  • Each segment of the Tower is an eighth smaller than the 16-story base. 
  • The only vertical elements of the structural system are an octagonal- shaped reinforced megaconcrete shear-wall core, eight exterior composite columns, and eight exterior steel columns. 
  • Because of the poor upper-strata soil conditions, the foundation for the tower consists of deep high-capacity piles capped with a reinforced concrete mat. 
  • Foundations consist of 80-m-deep driven high capacity steel piles. The 5-acre site is surrounded by a 40-m-deep slurry wall which acted as an excavation retention system during construction. 
  • Jin Mao had to be designed to withstand "rational" winds for the Shanghai climate, which can also include 125 mph winds during a typhoon event. 
  • In accordance with the Chinese code-defined response spectrum, the building was designed for seismic loads using ground accelerations that compare to a UBC Code Zone 2A. 
  • Hotel and office spaces are the main uses for Jin Mao. The base of the tower has a landscaped courtyard with reflecting pool and area seating. 
  • The tower design recalls the ancient pagodas of China, gently stepping back to create a rhythmic pattern as it rises. In the evening, the tower is illuminated to create a beacon on the Shanghai skyline. 
  • At 421 m, it is the tallest building in China. 
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For more information contact:

Geri Kery, Operations Manager, by email or phone 1-610/758-3521

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