Pearl Tower in Shanghai Turns 15!

Pearl Tower (photo by Kari)

Pearl Tower (photo by Kari)

A flamboyant statement of Shanghai’s aspirations to reclaim its position as Asia’s preeminent city, it’s a building which is difficult to be ambivalent about.


Satirist PJ O’Rourke described it as: “A Russian Orthodox church of the twenty-eighth century, or a launch vehicle for a pair of Houston Astrodomes, or a humongous shish kebab that lost everything but two onions in a barbecue fire.” But that certainly hasn’t stopped an unending stream of adoring tourists, photographers and writers lavishing it with attention over the past decade and a half.

Love it or loathe it, it undeniably has personality in spades. But then that was the purpose from the beginning – to make a statement. Its designer, Jiang Huancheng, who by profession is a structural engineer, first started work on the tower in 1987. He was the principal person in charge throughout its four years of construction and was on site every day until completion. Now aged 71 and still working, Jiang recalls his famous creation that has come to define a city reborn…

Shanghai China
Pudong District in Shanghai, China (photo by Kari)


More about the Pearl Tower in Shanghai here.

Read about Kari's visit to the pearl tower in Shanghai, China.

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