Postcard from... Beijing
China has another superlative to add to its growing collection – the world’s biggest building.
The New Century Global Centre has opened for business in the Sichuan provincial capital Chengdu. It’s not the tallest building, but the centre is absolutely massive, the largest free-standing building in the world, capable of housing 20 Sydney Opera Houses, and almost three times the size of the Pentagon in Washington.
The monster structure is 500 metres long, 400 metres wide and 100 metres high, and sprawls over 1.7 million square metres in an area of Chengdu, the Tianfu New District, that is being constructed as part of the city’s plans to boost its international profile. Chicago architects Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill have been given the task of building the 1.3 square kilometre sustainable city that will host the new building, while British architect Zaha Hadid built the Chengdu Contemporary Arts Centre nearby.
It has offices, hotels, theatres, shopping malls, a Mediterranean village and a water park called Paradise Island. For a long time, Chengdu’s biggest selling point was the panda bear beloved as China’s national symbol, which lives in the countryside around the city.
But these days the city authorities love to follow up the panda stories with tales of its stated ambition of becoming the Silicon Valley of China. Anything between half and two thirds of the iPads sold worldwide are assembled in Chengdu, while the computer giant Intel makes up to half of its chips in the city.
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 3 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 4 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
Russell Brand opposes anti-Semitism after death threats: 'We must disavow all forms of prejudice that lead to exclusion and execution'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Microbial life found living on the exterior of the International Space Station, say reports
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer (TSQL, S...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Front-End UI/U...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C#.NET ...