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Oriental Pearl Tower
The Oriental Pearl Tower as seen across the Huangpu River The Oriental Pearl Tower as seen across the Huangpu River
General information
Location Shanghai, China
Coordinates 31°14′31″N 121°29′42″E / 31.242°N 121.495°E / 31.242; 121.495Coordinates: 31°14′31″N 121°29′42″E / 31.242°N 121.495°E / 31.242; 121.495
Status Complete
Constructed 1991–1995
Use Communication, hotel, observation, restaurant
Antenna or spire 468 m (1,535 ft)
Top floor 350 m (1,148 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 14
Elevators 6
Companies involved
Architect(s) Shanghai Modern Architectural Design Co. Ltd.
Developer Shanghai Oriental Group Co. Ltd.

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 Jiang 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 was the tallest structure in China from 1994–2007, when it was surpassed by the Shanghai World Financial Center. The Oriental Pearl Tower belongs to the World Federation of Great Towers.

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

The Pearl Tower attracts over three million visitors each year.[citation needed]


Structural data


The spheres in the tower

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 columns that start underground.

Observation levels

Outdoor observation deck built in May 2009 featuring a glass floor

The tower has fifteen 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) to a total height of 468 metres (1,535 ft).

Chinese symbolism in the design

The design of the building said to be 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). However, the designer Jiang Huancheng says that he did not have the poem in mind when designing the tower. It was the chief of the jury board who said it reminded him of that poem.[1]

In popular culture

  • In Life After People: The Series, the episode "The Invaders" shows the tower falling 70 years into our absence due to the Huangpu River flooding Shanghai, corrosion, and the fact that the city has sunk 35 inches under its own weight.
  • 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 twice, 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 taking place in Shanghai.
  • In the Weekly World News, it was shown a picture from 2320.
  • In Ultraviolet, the character Six stands beneath it and looks up at it. It was also shown several times in subsequent scenes.
  • The Tower is extensively featured in Empire of The Sun's music video for "Walking on a Dream"
  • In Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the tower is featured near the beginning of the movie, during the hunt for Decepticons hiding in Shanghai.


Night view:

Inside the Pearl:

See also


  1. ^ Miller, JFK. "Shanghai's Pearl Tower turns 15"., January 5, 2010. Accessed March 15, 2010.

External links

Preceded by
Jin Jiang Tower
Tallest Structure in China
Succeeded by
Shanghai World Financial Center


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