'World's Largest Building' Opens In China
Published 2 July 2013
The New Century Global Center, described by Chinese officials as the world's largest freestanding structure, has opened to the public in Chengdu, the capital of southwestern Sichuan Province. Measuring 500 meters in length and 400 meters in width, with 1.7 million square meters of floor space, the center is large enough to contain 20 Sydney Opera Houses.
The New Century Global Center is reflected in an artificial lake. The center appears to be another symbol of China's economic might.
The building houses offices, shopping malls, a "Mediterranean village," a 14-screen IMAX movie theater, a water park, and an ice-skating rink.
Workers clean the glass roof of the massive structure. With 1.7 million square meters of floor space, the center could house Washington's Pentagon Building three times over.
The domed glass roof is 100 meters high.
Among the building's features is an "artificial sun" that will provide light and heat 24 hours a day.
The New Century Global Center stands among other new buildings in a planned area of Chengdu called Tainfu New District. The development is part of plans to make Chengdu, a city of 14 million, an economic and cultural capital of its region.