Fire broke out today at the US$910 million 101-storey tall Shanghai World Financial Center in an elevator shaft on the 40th floor at about 4pm today. Eight fire trucks were dispatched to douse the fire, and it was eventually extinguished by 5.42 pm. There were no reports of injuries or deaths.
An AP report offers an excellent recap of the numerous travails that have faced the wedge-shaped building in the last few years (some of which we’ve covered in this blog too):
For six years after ground was broken at the site in the mid-1990s, the project was little more than a hole in the ground: The Asian financial crisis had virtually obliterated demand for new office space in Shanghai.
After the project was revived in 2003, the builders had to alter a key design feature — a circular cutout near the top — after complaints that it resembled the rising sun on Japan’s flag, a symbol reviled by many Chinese because of Japan’s brutal occupation of the country in World War II.
And earlier this year, the tower’s builder, the Mori Building Co. of Tokyo, were criticized by Shanghai authorities for altering the project’s name to “Shanghai Hills” to link it to its other marquee projects, the famed Roppongi Hills and Omotesando Hills complexes.
The company said the formal registered name of the project remained the Shanghai World Financial Center and “Shanghai Hills” was merely a branding strategy.
AP: Fire extinguished at construction site for China’s tallest building in Shanghai
Shanghai World Financial Center: Details related to fire breaking at construction site
Previous Shanghaiist stories on the World Financial Center
Skyscraper Envy: Shanghai to whip out another big one
As far as shapes go, the circle is the evilest
Blogging about the World Financial Center
Welcome to Shanghai Hills!
Photo from China News Agency.