The second best of anything rarely gets anywhere near the attention that the best gets, but this may be a notable exception.
Standing 2,073 feet (632 metres) high, the Shanghai tower is the world’s second tallest building behind the ultra-famous Burj Khalifa. The 128-storey building took seven years to complete, with work finishing in September of 2015, but it has not yet been opened to the public, for undisclosed reasons.
Filmmaker Joe Nafis had the foresight to begin filming the construction of the tower in 2011, when he found an unobstructed view of the city of Lujiazui, which is a peninsula in the city of Shanghai. After being developed as Shanghai’s financial district in the early 1990s, Lujiazui’s construction activity has exploded and it now hosts more than 30 buildings over 25 storeys high and three buildings over 1,380 feet tall (420 metres).
Over the next four years, Nafis took hundreds of thousands of photos of the tower, totaling about eight terabytes of memory. Other than the Kardashians taking pictures of themselves, that’s more photos than people would ever take over an entire lifetime. Nafis was then tasked with compiling all of those photos, editing them and turning them into a two minute, 48 second masterpiece.
As far as the actual construction of the building went, the designers had to be extra careful, since Shanghai is highly susceptible to earthquakes. The building also happened to be located on top of a river basin, so the engineers called for 980 foundation piles that stretched 282 feet deep apiece. To fight off the threat of typhoons, the building is spiraled all the way up to the top, twisting about one degree per storey of the building.