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China's 'Horizontal Skyscraper' Opens Deck

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

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China’s horizontal skyscraper—dubbed “The Crystal”—recently unveiled its first attraction to the public: The Exploration Deck.

According to officials, the Deck is the first major attraction to launch in the Chongqing since the lifting of the country’s COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

Crystal Background

The Crystal, a 820-foot-high, 980-foot-long skybridge connects China’s tallest residential tower and Chongqing’s tallest building.

Designed by architect Moshe Safdie and led by developer CapitaLand, the $3.8 billion structure is set to hold homes, shops, offices, entertainment transportation links and a public park.


China’s horizontal skyscraper—dubbed “The Crystal”—recently unveiled its first attraction to the public: The Exploration Deck.

In addition to connecting two of the region’s tallest towers, the skybridge connects four of the main towers at the 42nd floor—the top floor, which accommodates necessary sway in the earthquake zone on which the buildings sit. There are eight towers, plus the bridge, total in the complex.

The bridge reportedly uses frictional pendulum bearings and seismic dampers mounted on the towers for flexibility and will weigh 12,000 tons, enclosed in a ring of roughly 3,000 glass panels and 5,000 aluminum panels. It’s slated to hold a viewing gallery, sky gardens, an infinity pool and various restaurants.

For the building process, the structure was divided into nine segments, four built above the four towers and three middle segments, which were prefabricated and hoisted into place.

Other, smaller cantilever skybridges connect the adjacent towers, meaning that workers and residents can move around the 1.12 million-square-meter complex without having to go to ground level, which is the entire point, according to the architect.

In March 2019, officials reported that the project was nearing completion, with work focusing on interiors.

What Now

The Exploration Deck opened in the last week of May following health guidelines and the 1,500-square-meter platform portrays an exploration-themed exhibition on the city’s development that takes place on five levels.

At the end of the tour, visitors arrive at an indoor park and glass-bottom viewing desk that offers views of the city and the Yangtze River.

The remainder of the sky bridge will reportedly open in the third quarter.


Tagged categories: AS; Asia Pacific; Bridges; Color + Design; Commercial Construction; Completed projects; Condominiums/High-Rise Residential; Design; Public spaces

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