The building project is established in Yuzhong District, Chongqing, China at the tip of the peninsula where the Yangtze and Jialing Rivers converge. The construction works began in 2013. The whole project is not completed yet but, the Crystal has recently opened for the public.
The Crystal lies at a height of 250 meters and stretches for about 300 meters. It is founded on the top of 4 tall buildings and weights around 12,000 tons. The facility is also connected with 2 more skyscrapers of the project via cantilever bridges.
The skyway is 26.5 meters high and 32.5 meters wide. It is currently the second highest skybridge in the world after the Kingdom Centre in Saudi Arabia, however, it is the first structure that connect 4 towers.
The design was inspired by traditional Chinese sailing vessels. The project is handled by Moshe Safdie, an architect known for a lot of successful projects including the Marina Bay Sands Resort in Singapore. “The great opportunities with these building types are the unexpected new vantage points found to view the city, and the further integration of the public realm into the high levels of a building,” Safdie Architects company, states.
The construction process of the Crystal was challenging. The structure consists of 9 segments which were assembled as follows:
- 4 segments were directly constructed on top of the 4 vertical skyscrapers.
- The gaps between the towers were covered by 3 middle segments that were precast on the ground
- The 2 outermost segments were mainly assembled in place but some parts of them were prefabricated
Click the video below to watch the skybridge assembled together.
The building is made of about 5,000 aluminum and 3,000 glass panels, respectively. It will feature restaurants, two swimming pools, gardens with vegetation and a viewing point which is made of transparent glass and offers a spectacular view of the whole city and of the convergence point of Yangtze and Jialing Rivers.
The other buildings of the Raffles City Chongqing will accommodate office spaces, residential apartments, a hotel and a large shopping mall.