Following eight years of design, development, and construction, Safdie Architects is nearing completion on its latest project in China: Raffles City Chongqing, a vibrant complex which combines office, residential, hotel, retail, and recreational facilities across a 22.7 acre site, embedded within the densely developed Yuzhong district.
A phased opening of Raffles City Chongqing commenced in September 2019 with the unveiling of a 220,000 sq.m., five-story retail galleria and continues into early 2020, culminating with the opening of The Crystal, a 300m-long horizontal skyscraper perched at 250m and stretching across four of the development’s eight towers.
Spanning across four accessible towers, at a length of 280 meters, the Crystal also connects to two of the development’s taller towers via linking bridges. Considered a ‘horizontal skyscraper,’ the Crystal houses 15,000 sq.m. of facilities including gardens, numerous dining options, bar and event space, a residential clubhouse, infinity pool, and hotel lobby.
Enclosed by a glass and steel structure termed a concertina—a serrated profile with an elliptical cross section—The Crystal offers visitors access to natural light, extensive views, and garden settings throughout the year. Metal panels on the west-facing concertina surfaces and glass on the east-facing surfaces afford the guests and visitors with natural light in the morning and shade from the sun in the afternoon.
Retail Galleria and Roof Park
The retail galleria is organized in five stories, topped by an expansive public park that overlooks historic Chaotianmen Square. The three main retail gallerias align with, and are a conceptual continuation of, the principal north-south streets of the city.
The public park sits adjacent to each of the residential tower’s private gardens, creating a network of green and open space across the development that overlooks the Jialing and Yangtze Rivers.
The Raffles City Chongqing development is composed of eight towers in total, with six southern towers rising to 250m, and two northern towers extending upwards to 350m.