|Address:||Lujiazui Lu 2, Huangpu District|
|Transport:||Subway: Lujiazui (Exit 1)|
The Oriental Pearl Tower (pinyin: Dong fang ming zhu ta) 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 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.
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.
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.