Raffles City: The tallest horizontal skyscraper in the world

Many cities around the world would be unimaginable without high-rise buildings and skyscrapers, and they ensure that building upwards provides more living space in a small area.

But have you heard of a horizontal skyscraper? A building was also constructed in Chongqing, China.

Space-saving skyscrapers are often found in populous cities in particular. Because when the space on the ground is no longer enough, the building is built upwards. Architects from all over the world turn these buildings into true works of art and always come up with new, unusual ideas for special architectural features. Architect Moshe Safdie also had a unique idea when planning Raffles City in Chongqing: Why not build a horizontal skyscraper?

Chongqing – the largest city in the world by area

Raffles City is located in the city of Chongqing in southwest China. With an area of approximately 82,000 square kilometers, Chongqing is almost as big as Austria – and thus the largest city in the world in terms of area. However, it must be said that this area also includes districts and regions outside the city centre. A total of around 32 million people live in Chongqing. The city and its surroundings have been an independent city-state since 1997, as “WELT” reports in a documentary.

Chongqing’s size and population are also due to this reform. Citizens who had previously worked as farmers in the countryside moved into the city center – and skyscrapers shot up like mushrooms. “In 10 years, 500 skyscrapers grew into the sky here,” says the documentation of the city’s rapid development. Chongqing is now one of the cities with the most skyscrapers in the world.

The Raffles City horizontal skyscraper

Raffles City is located at the confluence of the two rivers Yangtze and Jialing. The architect of the mega project is Moshe Safdie with his company “Safdie Architects”. According to the company’s website, Raffles City consists of a total of eight skyscrapers. The six southern buildings are 250 meters high, the two northern ones reach a height of 350 meters. Raffles City buildings are used for a variety of purposes. Five high-rise buildings, including one of the northern towers, are equipped with living quarters. The second of the northern towers is used as an office building up to the height of the horizontal skyscraper and above that as a hotel. Offices are also located in the other buildings, with one high-rise building containing both offices and furnished apartments.

The horizontal skyscraper “Crystal” is 250 meters high and 300 meters long. It spans the rooftops of four of Raffles City’s southern homes. A landscaped garden covering an area of 10,000 square meters is accessible to visitors all year round. There are also restaurants, bars, a hotel lobby, function rooms and a members’ club area with a 50 meter infinity pool.

3,000 panes of glass and 5,000 aluminum panels were used to construct the Crystal’s rounded glass facade. By the way: If the construction of Raffles City with its “sky bridge” reminds you of the Marina Bay Sands resort in Singapore, you are right. Because both buildings are based on designs by the same architects.

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