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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop Shanghai World Financial Center, ShanghaiLandmarks
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Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai
This model consists of approximately 8,000 pieces.
About this creation
This is my tenth custom model and my twenty-third overall. Located in the Pudong district of Shanghai, China, the Shanghai World Financial Center is a 101-story, mixed-use supertall skyscraper. Completed in 2008, it took the title of world's tallest roof height at 492m tall. This title was handed over to the Burj Khalifa, however, less than two years later.

This building is my first model of a Chinese skyscraper and also my fourth international skyscraper model. My initial "breakthrough" on how to make this model came to me about this time last year. I finished designing it in February 2012 and later built it in June. The model made its premiere at Brickworld Chicago the same month. Because I was never fully satisfied with the way I built it, it sat for about six months until I began touching it up in December 2012. While I do plan to eventually construct a realistic base, I have no motivation to do it now or any time soon. Model completed December 16, 2012.

More photos on Brickshelf

Construction photos here

The Shanghai World Financial Center was constructed over an eleven year period. The foundation was laid in 1997 with plans that called for a shorter height than the present-day tower. The building was put on hold during the Asian Financial Crisis and did not resume until November 2003. The height was then changed to its present standing and the building was topped out in 2007.

The building's unique curved tapers gradually reduce the floor area until the top floor is not much wider than a hallway. To achieve this shape in the model, I drew the curves on LEGOŽ graphing paper. To determine the various stud increments, I used the LRAM and RRAM calculus theorems. While MRAM is in fact the most accurate of the three, it would not have satisfied the minimum number of stud attachments at each point along the curve as well as the other two did. A picture of this stage of construction is on Brickshelf.

The lower floors are clad in polished concrete. I opted to use pearl light grey elements to mimic the same sheen it gives off in reality.

The midsection of the building: I used sideways cheese slopes to cleanly seal the gaps at the forty-five degree interfaces where the tower's square form meets the tapering corners.

One of the building's most notable features is the trapezoidal aperture at the peak. Originally, the design called for a circular cut-out; a prospect that was met with opposition by many including the mayor of Shanghai. He reasoned that the circle bared too much resemblance to the rising sun design of the Japanese flag. In lieu of the height increase, the aperture was also changed to its trapezoid shape and a bridge was to span the bottom of the opening to serve as one of the three observation levels.

Looking down. The staggered form of the tapered corners was based largely on the design of my CN Tower model. The main differences between the two are the thickness and the fact that this is a convex curve and the CN Tower has concave curves.

A final look at the side profile.

The model separates into four sections for easy transportation. You may notice 1x1 clip plates beneath the outer layer of clear tiles at each section interface. These are necessary to hold in place over 300 clear cheese slopes that are wedged between the chamfered corners and the straight sides. These cheese slopes are loose and unattached to the model, but are in place so that they subdue to hue of the medium blue plates behind the chamfered corners.


  August 13, 2013
WOW!!! Amazing lego un-friendly shape you mastered and I love the clear tile over blue plate color results you achieved. I built the SWFC a few years ago and i also ended up with a structure where almost NONE of the studs were facing up. GREAT JOB, especially on the clean and shiny studless podium which I avoided so as to minimize my frustrations and just get it built! Check out my design here which is not too different from yours on the SNOTTY quotient!! Asian skyscrapers are not easy to pull off, but you did it masterfully! Adding you to one of my favorite builders right now!
 I like it 
  February 4, 2013
Very beautiful building! My favorite of yours, together with Empire and WTC
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  December 25, 2012
Very cool. Awesome work!
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  December 23, 2012
As usual very impressive, I really enjoyed reading your description of how you constructed this building. It appears to me that your models are getting more complicated. Great Job, keep up the good work.
 I made it 
  December 22, 2012
Quoting Duncan L Really great. How tall is this model? It looks big at first then it looks smaller to me. Great display piece.
Off hand I'm not sure what the measurements are, but it's a good 3 or 4 bricks taller than the roof height of my Sears Tower model.
 I like it 
  December 21, 2012
Really great. How tall is this model? It looks big at first then it looks smaller to me. Great display piece.
 I like it 
  December 21, 2012
It's finally done, and looks awesome!
 I like it 
  December 21, 2012
Superb, the shaping is ingenious.
 I like it 
  December 21, 2012
Looks great. I'm still working on mine.
By Rocco Buttliere
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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop Shanghai World Financial Center, ShanghaiLandmarks

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