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Crystalline glass façade of China World Tower.
The China World Tower is the largest building in China in terms of office space.

The China World Tower is the tallest skyscraper in Beijing, officially opened on 30 August 2010. Also known as China World Trade Centre Phase 3A, the 330m tall tower is the centrepiece of Beijing’s Central Business District, Chaoyang. It is located close to the CCTV building in the north-west corner of East Third Ring Road and Jianguomenwai Avenue.

The 74-storey project is part of the China World Trade Centre (CWTC) complex, which was opened in August 1990. It lies beside the 155m tall, 39-storey China World Trade Centre Phase I and II, covering 17ha with a floor area of 1.1m m² in total.

The China World Tower is the phase three project of the CWTC mixed-use development. The official opening of the CWTC3 also marks the 20th anniversary of the CWTC.  The China World Tower is the largest building in China in terms of office space (389,079m²) and the second largest in the world after Pentagon (604,000m²).

The China World Tower is designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) in collaboration with Wong & Tung International. China World Trade Centre Company is the client of the project. Arup is the structural engineer. Construction of the project was started in 2005, was topped out in October 2007 and the façade surrounded before August 2008.


The CWTC complex has several facilities including offices, residences, hotels, retail space and exhibition halls. The China World Tower, with four underground floors has retail spaces at its base, offices at levels one to 55, a hotel and entertainment venues.

“The 74-storey project is part of the China World Trade Centre complex.”

In August 2010, Shangri-La opened its five-star China World Summit Wing Hotel in the China World Tower. The 278-room hotel occupies the upper floors of the skyscraper from the 67th floor. It has a 1,780m² main entrance, The Summit Lobby, a 24-hour gymnasium, a Shangri-La signature spa and a swimming pool.

The other facilities include a 5,500m² banqueting and conference space, a rooftop Pine Garden, the 1,600-seat, 2,340m² pillar-free Summit Ballroom, 12 function rooms, a 95-seat auditorium and car parking in the basement.

The observation deck on the 74th floor offers 3600 views of the city. The building has 63 elevators and 30 escalators supplied by Schindler. Four of them lead to the observation deck from the lobby.


The China World Tower is a vertical skyscraper, reflecting a tapering columnar design. The tower is designed to integrate with the surroundings and also reflect the rational culture of modern Beijing. The phase 3 project included development of the underground China World Mall with four-storey above-grade expansion and an open courtyard for retail podiums. The rooftop pine and the water garden of the tower offer a comfortable contrast to the dense landscaping of the city. It also provided courts and open spaces for pedestrian streetscape at the China World Trade Centre. The hotel interiors are designed with classic wooden décor in Chinese design.

The building is designed with environmentally friendly and energy conservation features. It also won an LEED Gold award in May 2008 for energy efficiency and other developments.


Beijing is classified as a high-seismicity area which caused a lot of engineering challenges for the design of the China World Tower.

“It also provided courtyards and open spaces for pedestrian streetscapes at the China World Trade Centre.”

A composite steel plate shear wall introduced at the base will allow the building to withstand earthquakes.

This technique was first introduced in China by Arup through this project.

The structure is of central core plus external tubes with belt trusses and outriggers. The building uses a perfect balance of concrete and steel giving the structure ductility and stiffness. The tower also has several safety elements such as an evacuation helipad and refuge areas.


The crystalline glass façade of the China World Tower allows the building to use maximum natural light entering the interiors. The middle and high zones of the tapering tower allows the building to have fewer perimeter columns. The visible columns, however, remain evenly spaced throughout the perimeter, creating a distinctive façade pattern. The undulating crystalline walls, covered with metal fins and fritted glass, also act as vertical sunshades. The LED lighting on the exteriors along with the glass curtain wall provide striking luminosity at night.