Safdie Architects Reveals “Horizontal Skyscraper” at Raffles City Chongqing, China

Main Photo: The “horizontal skyscraper”!

Date: July 2020

Location: The hotel sits at the meeting of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers in the city’s Yuzhong district, China.

Names: Ascott Raffles City Chongqing, plus an InterContinental – opening October 2020

No. of Keys: 380 rooms at the hotel, plus 201 apartments at The Ascott

Seller: The historically significant site was once home to the city’s most important gateway and the imperial entrance to the city, Chaotian Gate.

Developer: In total the development consists of eight skyscrapers connected by a five-storey podium. On the south side are six 250-metre-high towers, with two taller 350-metre-high skyscrapers to the north completing the complex.

Sail-like screens curve out from the north side of all the skyscrapers, filtering daylight and giving the complex a uniform appearance. Stretching 300 metres between four towers on the 22.7-acre development, The Crystal is described by Safdie Architects as a “horizontal skyscraper”. Bridges link the horizontal structure to the two taller skyscrapers.

Designed as a glass and steel tube, The Crystal has an elliptical cross-section. Its outer walls are given strength by a concertina structure, shaded from the afternoon sun on the west side by metal panels.

A glass-bottomed public viewing deck projects from one end, accessible through an open-air park. An infinity pool surrounded by trees touches one edge of the structure. The rest of The Crystal contains gardens, bars, restaurants, a clubhouse for the residents and a lobby for the hotel, all located 250 metres in the air.

When complete the eight skyscrapers will contain a combination of offices, apartments, and hotel. The five-storey podium has a shopping centre along with a series of galleries, with entrances at multiple levels to account for the area’s hilly terrain.

The project has both a hotel and serviced apartments. The hotel component, managed by IHG under their InterContinental brand, is anticipated to be open is toward the end of 2020. It consists of 380 guest rooms, premium banquet halls with floor-to-ceiling windows facing the two rivers, and numerous restaurant/bar concepts. The serviced apartments are managed by Ascott.

The living-room in the Ascott apartment – imagined

On top of the shopping area is a rooftop park with large skylights to allow natural light to reaches down into the building below.

The property is a walking distance to Jiefangbei Central Business District and Xiaoshizi Metro Station. Internal transfer between metro and buses will also be available soon. The property is surrounded by restaurants, entertainment outlets and other amenities, as well as lots of famous historical attractions nearby, such as Chaotianmen Dock, Yangtze River Cableway and Hongya Cave. It is a 10 km drive to Chongqing North Railway Station and a 25 km distance drive to Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport.

“While centuries old, Chongqing is now experiencing rapid growth and regeneration that demands thoughtful solutions to increased density and mega-scale projects,” said practice founder Moshe Safdie.

Raffles City Chongqing is the fourth development Safdie Architects has completed for the developer CapitaLand. Founded by Moshe Safdie in 1964, the practice has offices in Shanghai, Singapore, Israel and the USA.

THPT Comment: Wow thought we had seen it all at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore with three towers and a bridge….but No! this dwarfs that deal.

First Seen: Dezeen

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