Architecture

China's amazing "horizontal skyscraper" opens to visitors

China's amazing "horizontal sk...
The Crystal measures 300 m (984 ft) in length and is supported in place by four skyscrapers
The Crystal measures 300 m (984 ft) in length and is supported in place by four skyscrapers
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Visitors begin their tour of Raffles City Chongqing's Crystal on the ground floor with an exploration-themed exhibition created in collaboration with National Geographic
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Visitors begin their tour of Raffles City Chongqing's Crystal on the ground floor with an exploration-themed exhibition created in collaboration with National Geographic
The US$4.8 billion Raffles City Chongqing is designed by Moshe Safdie and consists of a total of eight skyscrapers
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The US$4.8 billion Raffles City Chongqing is designed by Moshe Safdie and consists of a total of eight skyscrapers
The Crystal measures 300 m (984 ft) in length and is supported in place by four skyscrapers
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The Crystal measures 300 m (984 ft) in length and is supported in place by four skyscrapers
Visitors to the Crystal reach the elevator by passing through a corridor that plays with optical illusions
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Visitors to the Crystal reach the elevator by passing through a corridor that plays with optical illusions
Visitors arrive at the Crystal to find an exhibition focused on the future possibility of humans living on Mars
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Visitors arrive at the Crystal to find an exhibition focused on the future possibility of humans living on Mars
The Crystal contains a small pocket park
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The Crystal contains a small pocket park
The Crystal's pocket park is home to 120 trees
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The Crystal's pocket park is home to 120 trees
The Crystal offers view
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The Crystal is located at a height of 250 m (820 ft)
The Crystal's open-air viewing point features a glass floor
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The Crystal's open-air viewing point features a glass floor
The Crystal's glass-bottomed observation deck offers views of Chongqing and of the Yangtze and Jailing rivers meeting
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The Crystal's glass-bottomed observation deck offers views of Chongqing and of the Yangtze and Jailing rivers meeting
View gallery - 10 images

Construction work is still ongoing on China's massive Raffles City Chongqing project but its most notable feature, the "horizontal skyscraper," has now opened to visitors. The stunning skybridge boasts a park and a glass-bottomed observation point.

The US$4.8 billion Raffles City Chongqing is designed by Moshe Safdie and consists of a cluster of eight skyscrapers. Four of the towers hold the horizontal skyscraper structure, which is officially named the Crystal, in place at a height of 250 m (820 ft). The Crystal itself measures 300 m (984 ft) in length and its weight comes in at a considerable 12,000 tons – much of the structure had to be painstakingly hoisted into position using cranes with engineering help from Arup.

Visitors to the Crystal's Exploration Deck, as the viewing area is named, begin their journey on the ground floor with an exhibition made in collaboration with National Geographic that details the history and development of Chongqing. An express elevator takes just over 50 seconds to reach the top and, once the doors open, visitors are greeted with another exhibition that imagines a future life on Mars.

The Crystal's glass-bottomed observation deck offers views of Chongqing and of the Yangtze and Jailing rivers meeting
The Crystal's glass-bottomed observation deck offers views of Chongqing and of the Yangtze and Jailing rivers meeting

A pocket park is next, before the tour culminates with the open-air Exploration Deck itself. This viewing point has a transparent glass floor and offers excellent views of the city and two nearby rivers converging. Elsewhere in the Crystal will be a members-only clubhouse with two swimming pools, restaurants and bars, but these are still being finished and are due to open in the coming months.

If you're in the area and would like to check out the view in person, tickets are priced at RMB180 (about US$25).

Source: CapitaLand

View gallery - 10 images
4 comments
Matt Fletcher
Similar to Singapore's "Park in the Sky" only twice as high and longer but not as fun (missing the infinity pool, casino and restaurants.)
paleochocolate
Too bad this will be in ruins in a few years.
CAVUMark
It is amazing what the Chinese are able to accomplish.
Brian M
Does beg the question is this really the way we want to work, live and play post COVID-19?