The next stunning building in our Building Blocks series is the Canton Tower in China. It is currently the highest tower in China and the third tallest in the world. The tower is unusual in that it was built as a sightseeing building and new landmark for the city of Guangzhou.
It has a unique shape with the building twisting up towards the sky. The tower narrows in the middle making it appear to have a waist. The shape is formed by two ellipses rotated relative to each other. One ellipse is at foundation level and one at 450m.
Overall the tower is 600m tall with two observation decks: the Cloud Observation Deck on the 107th floor and the Star Observation Deck on the 108th floor. On a clear day the view is magnificent through the staggering 8,922 windows. The Pearl River and city lie beneath your feet if you are brave enough to stand on the Glass Walk.
If you have a head for heights take a look at how the tower’s windows are kept clean!
The Canton Tower also boasts the longest spiral staircase in the world called the Spider Walk. You need to be pretty fit to undertake the climb as it starts on the 32nd floor and finishes on the 64th floor! You will have actually climbed 1000m skywards all the while treading on transparent steps. Quite an experience. If you are feeling particularly courageous you can take a ride in the Bubble Tram which runs around the top of the tower at 455m from the ground, to enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding area.
In November 2010 Guangzhou hosted the 16th Asian Games with the Canton Tower used for an amazing fireworks display at the Opening and Closing Ceremony of the Games.
The Canton Tower may hold many records such as having the highest ferris wheel and 4D cinema in the world but it can be best appreciated for its unique, elegant appearance and charm.