By Salma Awwad
Beating out the previous record holder, Dubai Airport’s Terminal 3, a new structure in west China is half a kilometre long.
In October 2008, Dubai opened its record-breaking Terminal 3
at Dubai Airport, which became the world’s largest building in terms of floor
space. Built over four years at a cost of $4.5bn, the terminal had just over 16
million square feet of space.
That record has now gone to China. The New Century Global
Center in the Chinese south-western city of Chengdu, which opened at the
beginning of this month, has 19 million square feet of floor space.
The New Century Project marks the next phase of China’s
growing economy and its expansion away from heavily populated coastal districts
into areas like Sichuan.
The glass and steel
structure will offer a multiple array of high-end boutiques and offices, plus
two five-star hotels, an ice-rink and a fourteen-screen movie theatre. The
building will have a full LED screen mounted across its ceiling displaying
images of a clear blue sky and will be surrounded by a man-made ocean front.
The project is funded by the local government and will feature
a water park with a 400-metre ‘coast’ which sits under a glass dome. The dome
will project images and videos of an ocean’s horizon and the beach can hold up
to 6,000 people at one time.
Dubai might have lost its mantle for now, but with plenty
more airport expansion planned for the future – at both Dubai International
Airport and the Dubai World Central project in Jebel Ali – don’t bet against
the emirate hitting back in the not-too-distant future.