A tall building creates a link between the earth and the sky. The interaction between these two realms gives rise to the physical form and structure of the Shanghai World Financial Center tower. A square prism (used by the ancient Chinese to represent the earth) is intersected by “cosmic arcs,” accentuating the building’s vertical ascent. This geometry is further dramatized by carving a great sky portal into the upper levels of the building. Reinforcing the fundamental geometry of the building, the sky portal widens as it rises, topped by a sky bridge that joins the opposite corners of the tower into a single form.A diverse and dynamic mixed-use development, the Shanghai World Financial Center will incorporate facilities that not only support Liujiazui’s current activities as a business district, but also create a sense of vitality and activity after working hours. To this end, offices, conference facilities, and commercial establishments are coupled with a luxury hotel, high-end retail and dining facilities, and an observation deck located in the building’s dramatic sky portal. Establishing observation facilities at the very top of the building – the 101st floor at 492 metres and the 100th floor at 472 metres – will supercede Toronto’s CN Tower, where the observatory is located at 447 metres. In addition, the 94th floor of the Shanghai World Financial Center will host a huge observation space totaling more than 700 square metres and will also serve as a space for for entertainment events, information sessions, and other publicity-related gatherings.The overall redesign and programmatic configuration of the Shanghai World Financial Center will support the building’s role as a major Asian landmark and a symbol of redevelopment in Shanghai. The uniqueness of the Shanghai World Financial Center will establish it as a powerful new icon for the City of Shanghai. The client for this project is Mori Building Co., Ltd.