Essential Architecture- Shanghai

Oriental Pearl Tower


Shanghai Modern Architectural Design Co. Ltd. Developer Shanghai Oriental Group Co. Ltd.


at the tip of Lujiazui in the Pudong district, by the side of Huangpu River, opposite The Bund of Shanghai.


1991 – 1995


Futurist architecture 


Antenna/Spire 468 m (1,535 ft) Top floor 350 m (1,148 ft)
Technical details Floor count 14 Elevator count 6


Use Communication, hotel, observation, restaurant
  The revolving restaurant inside the 2nd-highest sphere
The Oriental Pearl Tower (Chinese: 东方明珠塔; pinyin: Dōngfāng Míngzhūtǎ, Official Name: 东方明珠电视塔) is a TV tower in Shanghai, China. The Oriental Pearl Tower is located at the tip of Lujiazui in the Pudong district, by the side of Huangpu River, opposite The Bund of Shanghai.

It was designed by Jia Huan Cheng of the Shanghai Modern Architectural Design Co. Ltd. Construction began in 1991 and the tower was completed in 1995. At 468 m (1,535 feet) high, it is the tallest tower in Asia, and the third tallest tower in the world. The Oriental Pearl Tower belongs to the World Federation of Great Towers.

The tower has approximate coordinates 31°14'30 N and 121°29'42 E.

On 7 July 2007, Oriental Pearl Tower was host to the Chinese Live Earth concert.

Structural data

The tower features 11 spheres, big and small. The two biggest spheres, along the length of the tower, have diameters of 50 m (164 ft) for the lower and 45 m (148 ft) for the upper. They are linked by three columns, each 9 m (30 ft) in diameter. The highest sphere is 14 m (46 ft) in diameter.

The entire building is supported by three enormous and surprisingly strong columns that start underground.

Observation levels

The tower has three observatory levels. The highest (known as the Space Module) is at 350 m (1148 ft). The lower levels are at 263 m (863 ft) (Sightseeing Floor) and at 90 m (295 ft) (Space City). There is a revolving restaurant at the 267 m (876 ft) level. The project also contains exhibition facilities, restaurants and a shopping mall. There is also a 20 room hotel called the Space Hotel between the two large spheres.

Antenna spire
An antenna broadcasting TV and radio programs extends the construction by another 118 m (387 ft).

Chinese symbolism in the design
The design of the building is based on a verse of the Tang Dynasty poem Pipa Song by Bai Juyi about the wonderful sprinkling sound of a pipa instrument, like pearls, big and small falling on a jade plate (大珠小珠落玉盘/大珠小珠落玉盤/dà zhū xiǎo zhū luò yù pán).

Seen from afar, the Yangpu Bridge (杨浦大桥 Yángpǔ dàqiáo) and the Nanpu bridge (南浦大桥 Nánpǔ dàqiáo) seem like two Chinese dragons frolicking with the pearls of the Oriental Pearl tower.

Tourist facts
The Pearl Tower attracts three million visitors each year.

In popular culture
In Godzilla: Final Wars it was destroyed when Karyu crashed after being knocked by Anguirus.
In Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, it is shown two times, first when the Fantastic Four try to catch Dr. Doom, and secondly when the Human Torch pushes Dr. Doom into the Huangpu River
In Mission Impossible III, it is shown several times during the mission which was going on in Shanghai.