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5 ft TALL ShangHai World Finance Center
10,000 Brick, 80% SNOT, Modular Design of world's 2nd tallest bldg
About this creation
One of my favorite websites is skyscraperpage.com It lists all of the world's tallest buildings, and currently, the ShangHai World Finance Center is the world's 2nd tallest building, second only to the TaiPei 101, which I also built.






The building's cross-sectional shape starts out at the base as a square. It is square in cross-section from the ground to about 100 meters, after which point opposite corners begin to taper off. At the top of the building, the cross-sectional shape of the bldg is only a straight line, going from opposite corner to opposite corner. Many people say the building is shaped like a giant bottle opener. I have to agree. The original architectural plans had the opening at the top a circle, but since the building was built by Japanese, the Chinese didn't like the idea of the circle since they thought it too closely resembled the "Japanese Rising Sun", which is the icon on the Japanese flag. After construction began, the shape of the opening was revised to the trapezoidal shape we see now.






The bldg is 101 floors high, with 3 levels of observation decks, on 94, 97, (below the opening) & 101 (just above the opening). The 101st floor observation deck is the highest observation deck in the world, and it has a glass floor, which you can see in the pic below. My wife loved dancing around on the floor, but let me tell you, I have a BS in Civil Engineering with a concentration in structures, and we don't build floors out of glass for a very good reason. It's like ice on a frozen lake. If it gets a little crack, you're screwed. But I digress.






The base of the building is all stone, and is several different colors. I scoured MOC pages for an example of this type of stonework, and one builder stands out head and shoulders above the rest. Yes, you know, him, Arthur Gugick, although I call him "Your Greatness". He explained to me how he did his multi-colored walls made out of 1x1 plates. Several of his cathedrals have this same technique. Not the strongest configuration, but there's a trick to it. The base I must give credit to him for. I might have came up with something myself, but I'd probably still be picking up the pieces off the floor had I not talked to him first.






Okay, this is where it gets nasty and totally SNOTTY. Except for the stone base and 27 layers of transparent black bricks, the whole rest of the building is build on its side, studs facing North, South, East, & West. Look closely at the pic below and you can see the transition zone (thin black line of black tiles) where it went from nice and simple studs facing up,...to studs facing every which way. Why oh why did I build it this way? It's those tapered walls, those frackin' tapered walls! I couldn't think of a single way to do it with studs facing up, since I would need a really steep slope if the studs faced up. Lego does make black curved wedges that look like slopes from the non-curved side, that drop 1 brick every 8 studs. Standing these slopes up on their ends gave me the gradually tapering angle that I needed. About 1/3 of the way up the tapered walls I transitioned to 1x6 slopes that drop 1 brick every 6 studs, and I played with the tapering angle a bit more by adjusting the amount of studs that the slopes overlapped so that I could get effective slopes of greater than or less than 1 brick of drop for every 6 studs.







The pic below shows how I connected the walls that each have studs facing a different direction. I tried LOTS of different ways of connecting the walls, techinc beams with tiles on top, modified bricks stacked on top of each other with studs facing up, and covered by tiles on the sides, and nothing really satisfied me. I finally decided on using black 1x4 modified bricks with studs on the sides. This left the bottom of the bricks facing out, but considering the other options, this is OK by me. It's also pretty rigid, and I have no internal hinges inside the walls to keep them rigidly in place. The faint black horizontal lines you can see below show where the modular sections of the building are stacked on top of one another. The actual bldg has several AC floors going the height of the building, and this pretty closely mimics them.






While the 4 vertical walls of the building are made of 1x2 transparent smoke colored bricks, the 2 V-shaped tapered walls that are not vertical are made of black tiles, that are attached to long series of hinges on the inside. These walls hang like curtains over a curtain rod at the top of the tower. This is another reason why I took a wee bit of artistic license on the color and used black. The color difference between the glass and the tiles is the most subtle with black when compared to other color options like blue and grey.






The vertical sides of the building were a pain, because building sideways meant total breakdown to make a change in the wall. Had the walls been studs facing up, it would have been easy to make a change on the Xth row of bricks, but building sideways meant that any change in the wall required almost total disassembly. The V-shaped curtain walls were pretty straight-forward, but they're pretty delicate, and I always worried I'd drop them as I moved them around. The top of the bldg with the trapezoidal-shaped opening was a nightmare as well, because at the top of the bldg it gets so slender that there isn't much room on the inside for supports.






The pic below shows the bldg without the V-Shaped front and back walls that are made out of tiles. It wasn't until I got this much of the bldg built that it really started to look the real thing. The horizontal pieces you can see inside are part of the internal support that carries the load of the V-shaped curtain walls.







Thinking ahead to BrickFair 2010, I built the SWFC completely modularly. It disassembles easily in about 5 minutes, and goes back together about as quickly. The individual modular pieces are:

1. the base (shown in back)
2. two cube-shaped wall sections
3. the top wall section (which reminds me of a pair of rabbit ears)
4. a brown base made form plates and tiles that the internal supports set on
5. the internal supports that carry the load of the V-shaped curtain walls (looks like an ugly brown and green tower)
6. the V-shaped curtain walls that are made out of tiles
7. the top section with the trapezoidal-shaped opening






The pic below shows 1 of the 2 cube-shaped wall sections, from above. Each section has teeth on the bottom of the section that rest into slots that are on the top of the section below. It prevents any lateral movement, and makes for easy assembly. The 2 cube-shaped sections have technic beams that criss-cross on the inside, both top and bottom, and are connected with pins. Remember, opposite walls always have studs facing opposite directions, so the technic beams meet in the middle facing opposite directions. Without the technic beam cross members, the two pairs of walls would fall apart since the studs face a different direction of each wall, and on opposite corners, we have studs facing studs with no connections at all.






The pic below shows the inside of the building's base. Notice the 8 openings on the top, 2 on each wall, for the teeth from the section that will rest on top of it. On the inside at the bottom, you can see the back of the stone portion of the wall includes colors other than what appear on the outside.





Here you can see the teeth that are on the bottom of the 2 cube-shaped sections and the top section that looks like bunny rabbit ears.





Here are some pictures of the actual building in ShangHai.




This is me and the Mrs. in the Oriental Pearl Tower with the ShangHai World Finance Center and JinMao Tower behind us.





Here is another shot of the SWFC and JinMao I took from the Pearl Tower.


Some pics I pulled off the web. The Chinese dislike this building so much that most of the time in print media when they show the skyline, they simply edit out the SWFC. Sure, it's the tallest building in ShangHai, but it's Japanese, and the Chinese don't like the fact that the tallest bldg in China was built, and now is mostly occupied, by the Japanese.














The next 2 shots below show artists' renditions of the new tower that is currently under construction in ShangHai, called "ShangHai Center". It will be 128 stories tall, and will sit due west of the Japanese built ShangHai World Finance Center. This placement of the new tower will mean that they won't have to Photoshop away the SWFC anymore, since the 128-story tall ShangHai Center will sit directly in front of it. The view of the PuDong skyline from PuXi will show the Oriental Pearl on the left, JinMao Tower in the middle, and the 128-story tall ShangHai Center on the right, totally obstructing view of the SWFC. Those crafty Chinese!!!






Here are a couple pics of the stone base of the building:





Comments

 I made it 
  January 26, 2014
Quoting Russell Junsay how and where did you get the pieces for the project? how much was the total cost? I really wanted to replicate your work on SWFC or the Hong Kong China Bank tower but a smaller version, im thingking 2-3ft.
When I was working on this one, I was in the right places at the right times, picked up 2 whole bulk cases of 1x2 smoke bricks in 2 Lego stores in Tysons Corner and Alexandria I think. All in all, it probably cost me $400-$500.
 I like it 
  December 23, 2013
how and where did you get the pieces for the project? how much was the total cost? I really wanted to replicate your work on SWFC or the Hong Kong China Bank tower but a smaller version, im thingking 2-3ft.
 I like it 
  November 14, 2013
Sweet model of a very cool building! Skyscraperpage is a site I really like too.
 I like it 
  November 9, 2013
wow! you had to be pretty determined to do this...feat! incredible techniques and difficulties, my hat to you!!! also, very interesting story!
 I like it 
  February 2, 2012
Amazing job, I really liked how you achieved the "keyhole" thing on the top!
 I made it 
  April 16, 2011
Always fire the architect! I was trained as a civil/structural engineer, and we were taught to despise architects with every fiber of our being. And buildings like these are the reason we were taught to despise them. Architects dream up these fancifully shaped structures, then hand the plans off to the engineers to make it happen. But where would our skylines be without them?!
Quoting De Tomaso Pantera Your creations are mind boggling! Incredible, you should be an architect! I'd love to have half of the bricks you've got, one day maybe...
 I like it 
  April 11, 2011
Your creations are mind boggling! Incredible, you should be an architect! I'd love to have half of the bricks you've got, one day maybe...
 I like it 
  April 11, 2011
Wow! All your skyscrapers are amazing - this looks especially real.
 I like it 
  March 28, 2011
Amazing building. Very accurate, and the way you did the angles is really impressive.
 I like it 
  March 26, 2011
As I currently live in Shanghai, I can say you did a very good job on it. You managed the shape of the building extremely well, which is not so easy with Lego.
 I like it 
  February 4, 2011
Another incredibly impressive build to add to your resume! Simply fantastic, though there is nothing simple about the engineering feat you just accomplished. Great work as always!
 I like it 
  May 13, 2010
 I made it 
  February 17, 2010
It seems the non-US skyscrapers have more interesting shapes and are more of a challenge. I think I'm done doing super-tall towers. There's quite a few really nice looking buildings in Asia that aren't immediately recognizable to most people, but have been on my To Do List for quite some time.
Quoting Kyle Bartley They must have no taste in China because that building is way nicer than that Taipei 101 imitation next to it. I wish we had something like this in the states. Speaking of that. You should do an American building. Maybe the new Trump tower in Chicago or the Freedom Tower (World Trade Center 1) once it is built.
 I like it 
  February 17, 2010
They must have no taste in China because that building is way nicer than that Taipei 101 imitation next to it. I wish we had something like this in the states. Speaking of that. You should do an American building. Maybe the new Trump tower in Chicago or the Freedom Tower (World Trade Center 1) once it is built.
 I like it 
  January 26, 2010
It looks great!It looks like it is hard to build.
 I like it 
  January 12, 2010
Extremely impressive. I haven't seen anything like it yet.
 I like it 
  January 1, 2010
Amazing!!! Words can hardly express how beautifully you have captured this building... this truly is breath-taking... oh could you also view my moc? its my first. http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/175998. thanks!
 I like it 
  December 27, 2009
Cool building mate, very impressive indeed! Must have taken ages!
 I made it 
  December 24, 2009
Jenny, I hadn't thought of building the Expo Center before, but is is an excellent idea!!! Yes, I think I just might do it. I'll be going back to ShangHai in early February, so I just might have to do some field research on it while I'm there. I'm glad you like the ShangHai buildings. I notice that you're from Hong Kong. You should check out my Hong Kong Bank of China tower; I think you'll like it.
Quoting Jenny Hong ASTOUNDING! Your affinity for shanghai never cease to sweep me off my feet! (an honour really...haha) Anyways, do you have plans for the newest installment in shanghai like the world expo?
 I like it 
  December 24, 2009
ASTOUNDING! Your affinity for shanghai never cease to sweep me off my feet! (an honour really...haha) Anyways, do you have plans for the newest installment in shanghai like the world expo?
 I like it 
  December 23, 2009
First of all, let me point out (as a voice in the chorus) the awesomeness of this building. Then, I saw your appreciation for castle/space mix. Then, this group formed by Giovanni Seywhatever will interest you http://www.mocpages.com/group.php/6924.
 I made it 
  December 18, 2009
Quoting Spencer R.
Quoting david drake You know Spencer, I was seriously sweating bullets when you posted Jin Mao Tower about a month ago. It sets right beside the SWFC, and I was thinking that was too close for comfort.
I've been thinking about the tapering forms of SWFC and 1WTC for the past couple of years and the basic approach I came up with is similar to yours. But I've always had some doubts on whether it would work well enough. Now that I've seen that IT actually can be done, perhaps it will provide me the impetus to start construction?
I'd love to see your version of the world's 2nd tallest building. No collection would be complete without it. But let me warn you, be prepared for some intense frustration. This was probably the most difficult bldg I have done so far, mostly because I built it 100% SNOT from where it started to taper, and I made the misatake of not making the "tooth and slot" connections symmetrical. I tore each section apart 3 times as I worked my way up. But it was well worth it.
  December 18, 2009
Quoting david drake You know Spencer, I was seriously sweating bullets when you posted Jin Mao Tower about a month ago. It sets right beside the SWFC, and I was thinking that was too close for comfort.
I've been thinking about the tapering forms of SWFC and 1WTC for the past couple of years and the basic approach I came up with is similar to yours. But I've always had some doubts on whether it would work well enough. Now that I've seen that IT actually can be done, perhaps it will provide me the impetus to start construction?
 I like it 
  December 1, 2009
Simply amazing. It's hard to believe some of these buildings could be made with Lego, especially ones like this that have such smooth angles, but you always pull it off. Excellent job. Thanks for the history as well, I didn't know the WFC is so disliked.
 I like it 
  November 28, 2009
I was wondering how the SWFC was going to be LEGO-ized. But I need not wonder anymore. Great job!
  November 28, 2009
Iīm speachless, thatīs mind blowing! I could never even imagine to build such a huge thing! Awesome job!
 I like it 
  November 28, 2009
looks great
 I like it 
  November 28, 2009
Impressive.....
 I like it 
  November 28, 2009
Impressive.....
 I like it 
  November 28, 2009
I must thank you, for both creating this amazing tower, and for the brief architecture lesson. Also, great job =)
 I made it 
  November 28, 2009
Quoting Spencer R. Outstanding! Easily my favorite of the new generation of supertalls. I suspected you had this one in the works when Arthur told me you were interested in stone patterns!
You know Spencer, I was seriously sweating bullets when you posted Jin Mao Tower about a month ago. It sets right beside the SWFC, and I was thinking that was too close for comfort. I've still got a few things to finish up with the base plate on the SWFC (I put the tower in 1 corner), but that won't happen until BrickFair. I realized that with big bldgs, it helps give a sense of scale if the base has some scaled items. You always do such a good job on the bases, like the J-Life bldg you did beside JinMao.
 I made it 
  November 28, 2009
Quoting Linda Drake One of your best MOC's!! (I am partial to the HK Bank of China and Taipei 101 but I digress...) Shanghai is one of my favorite cities in the world and you nailed the shape of this building! I know it was frustrating at times but you really did a fantastic job! I am happy that it is built modularly for ease of setting up and all...IT makes me so happy to know and see that you enjoy building so much! What is next...?
Next building HAS to be something that isn't in the World's Top 10 list. It's always too much stress doing one of the ones that everybody may have on their radar. I might do Lippo Center or one of the other buildings in ShangHai that has a unique shape, but not quite so tall. I can't believe that I used almost 2 whole cases of the transparent 1x2 smoke colored bricks. That's about 7K bricks!
 I like it 
  November 28, 2009
Dude!... that is awesome!... ever since you told me about it, i have been thinking of ways to construct it. but your design is way more detailed as compared to my original concept... xD.. Great Job!...
 I like it 
  November 28, 2009
Outstanding! Easily my favorite of the new generation of supertalls. I suspected you had this one in the works when Arthur told me you were interested in stone patterns!
 I like it 
  November 28, 2009
Spectacular build. One of those building that you'd think were impossible to build with Lego but you've done it.. and done it well. Another one of your skyscrapers that I'm going to need to see in person. Thanks for the call-out!
 I like it 
  November 28, 2009
You are a really good builder! This creation looks very realistic. I also love architecture and skyscraperpage.com. I haven't been to Shanghai yet( I live in Singapore ) but I would love to go there and see the buildings.
 I like it 
  November 28, 2009
One of your best MOC's!! (I am partial to the HK Bank of China and Taipei 101 but I digress...) Shanghai is one of my favorite cities in the world and you nailed the shape of this building! I know it was frustrating at times but you really did a fantastic job! I am happy that it is built modularly for ease of setting up and all...IT makes me so happy to know and see that you enjoy building so much! What is next...?
 
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