Architecture

China's amazing horizontal skyscraper nears completion

China's amazing horizontal sky...
Developer CapitaLand says that Raffles City Chongqing's structure is now complete and work is ongoing fitting the interior
Developer CapitaLand says that Raffles City Chongqing's structure is now complete and work is ongoing fitting the interior
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Developer CapitaLand says that Raffles City Chongqing's structure is now complete and work is ongoing fitting the interior
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Developer CapitaLand says that Raffles City Chongqing's structure is now complete and work is ongoing fitting the interior
Raffles City Chongqing comprises a total of eight skyscrapers, plus the skybridge
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Raffles City Chongqing comprises a total of eight skyscrapers, plus the skybridge
Raffles City Chongqing's skybridge is supported by four skyscrapers and measures 300 m (984 ft) in length
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Raffles City Chongqing's skybridge is supported by four skyscrapers and measures 300 m (984 ft) in length
The Raffles City Chongqing's skybridge being hoisted into position
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The Raffles City Chongqing's skybridge being hoisted into position
Raffles City Chongqing has taken over six years to construct
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Raffles City Chongqing has taken over six years to construct
Electric vehicle company NIO is one major tenant  of Raffles City Chongqing 
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Electric vehicle company NIO is one major tenant  of Raffles City Chongqing 
Raffles City Chongqing includes a cinema and mall
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Raffles City Chongqing includes a cinema and mall
Raffles City Chongqing 's scale is massive, with a total floorspace of 817,000 sq m (roughly 8.8 million sq ft), spread over eight towers
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Raffles City Chongqing 's scale is massive, with a total floorspace of 817,000 sq m (roughly 8.8 million sq ft), spread over eight towers

Following six years of construction, the Moshe Safdie-designed Raffles City Chongqing is nearing completion in China. Representing a genuinely impressive engineering achievement, the so-called horizontal skyscraper consists of a cluster of eight towers and a huge connecting skybridge. Developer CapitaLand reports that it's now structurally complete and work is ongoing finishing its interior. The official opening ceremony is expected to take place in the second half of 2019.

Reminiscent of Safdie's Marina Bay Sands, but even more ambitious, Raffles City Chongqing also involves engineering firm Arup. Its unusual design is inspired by the sails of the Chinese trading vessels that once plied their trade in the busy river that runs through the city.

The scale of the project is considerable, with a total floorspace of 817,000 sq m (roughly 8.8 million sq ft), spread over its eight towers. The curved skybridge, dubbed the Crystal, is its focal point and is supported by four 250 m (820 ft)-tall skyscrapers. It also connects another pair of 350 m (1,148 ft)-tall skyscrapers via two adjoining smaller skybridges.

Raffles City Chongqing's skybridge is supported by four skyscrapers and measures 300 m (984 ft) in length
Raffles City Chongqing's skybridge is supported by four skyscrapers and measures 300 m (984 ft) in length

The Crystal measures 300 m (984 ft) in length, which, if made vertical, would be almost the height of the Eiffel Tower. It's clad in roughly 3,000 glass panels and almost 5,000 aluminum panels.

To get the Crystal into position some 250 m (820 ft)-high, it was divided into nine segments. Four pieces were built in place atop the towers and three middle segments were prefabricated on the ground and hoisted into place. The end pieces were mostly assembled in place, with finishing sections also hoisted up from the ground.

The Raffles City Chongqing's skybridge being hoisted into position
The Raffles City Chongqing's skybridge being hoisted into position

The Crystal's interior will include two swimming pools, a gallery, large gardens with trees, and restaurants, and a viewing point, among other amenities.

The rest of Raffles City Chongqing will host residential and office space, as well as a shopping mall and a large landscaped site measuring 9.2 hectares (22.7 acres).

Check out the video below to see the towers rising and sections of the skybridge being hoisted into position.

Source: CapitaLand

Hoisting of The Crystal at Raffles City Chongqing

6 comments
DFrancis
Given its shape, the ultimate will be a fully circular skybridge skyscraper.
VincentWolf
What no floatation in the clouds?
Howe
impressive, but very ugly. China has some great looking skyscrappers...this ain't one of em'.
Deres
Horizontal links between skycrappers may also bring a huge security boost. They permit evacuation of the building through its top in case of fire.
owlbeyou
Truly impressive how the Chinese are building remarkable architecture, and so much of it, but who are the folks that came up with the name of Raffles City? Sounds like a casino.
Aloysius
Sir Stamford Raffles founded what became the nation-state of Singapore. Singapore is also host to the smaller version of the horizontal skyscraper, the Marina Bay Sands. So "Raffles" is not about raffling a ticket or anything like that. It's the name of a person.