The most stunning modern buildings in Shanghai

Oriental Pearl, photo by Kimon Berlin

The China of the past, with its temples, small villages and shapely mountains is not quite the entire story, although this is the China that many travelers come to see. This country has a fascinating history and culture, that’s obvious, but there is another side to China too – the modern, high-tech, glaringly innovative one. Shanghai has many historical haunts, but it is also a great destination for fans of modern architecture. The skyline of Pudong, the side of Shanghai east of Huangpu River, looks like a still from a film set in the future, so if jaw-dropping sights is what you’re looking for, then you absolutely must check out some of the most stunning modern buildings in Shanghai.

Oriental Pearl TV Tower

Although it was built over 15 years ago, the brilliant Oriental Pearl Tower is still the fifth tallest building in the world. The tower looks quite unusual, and like the name says, it is supposed to evoke the shape and color of pearls. The structure is made up of 11 spheres of different sizes, supported by enormous columns. At night, the tower is lit in a panoply of colors, and it is probably the most recognizable sight on the Pudong skyline.

Mercedes-Benz Arena

Mercedes-Benz Arena, photo by Chloester

This modern stadium looks either like a very symmetrical clam, or perhaps a landed flying saucer from afar, especially when it is illuminated at night. The arena was opened in 2010, and since then it has hosted a variety of sports and entertainment events. If there’s nothing happening at the arena while you’re in Shanghai, you should still visit it – you can get an amazing view of the city from the sixth floor terrace, and there are some good restaurants and an ice-skating rink.

Shanghai World Financial Centre Tower

Currently, the Shanghai World Financial Centre Tower is the tallest building in all of China, but who knows for how long? This astounding, sleek structure was opened in 2008, and in the same year it was named the best skyscraper of the year. The tower is a mixed-purpose building: hotels, shopping malls, offices and a must-see observation deck.

Shanghai Apple Store

Apple Store, photo by GlobalX on Flickr

One of the most stunning new additions to Shanghai’s suite of modern buildings is the Apple store opened in 2010. This is the first Apple store in the city, and one of the largest Apple stores in the whole world. The sight that greets you at the entrance is a gigantic glass cylinder made of the largest curved glass panels in the world, containing an Apple logo seemingly floating at the center.

Shanghai Oriental Sports Center

Another new addition to the city, Shanghai Oriental Sports Center was completed in 2010 using 3000 tons of steel and sitting in the middle of an artificial lake. The facility is going to host the 14th World Aquatics Championships, and it’s swimming pools are really something to see. The angular, startling white exterior make this center one of the most stunning modern buildings in Shanghai.

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