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Raffles City Chongqing
Photograph: CapitaLand

China has a brand new ‘horizontal skyscraper’ – and it’s open to the public

The Crystal at Chongqing’s Raffles City complex offers panoramic views at the intersection of two legendary rivers

Huw Oliver

Swooping across the sky at the intersection of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers in south-western China, the Crystal at Raffles City Chongqing is a spectacular new building in a rather spectacular location.

The latest part of the eight-building complex to open to the public, this huge, partially glass-bottomed observation deck – dubbed a ‘horizontal skyscraper’ – connects four of its vertical towers and offers ace views over the whole of sprawling Chongqing. 

Raffles City ChongqingPhotograph: CapitaLand

Designed to resemble a sail surging forward at the spot where the two rivers meet, the building is perched 250 metres up and is the highest structure of its kind in western China.

A super-fast elevator whisks visitors up to level 47 in less than a minute. Right now, they can take in an exhibition that speculates about what life on Mars might look like in the decades to come, before stepping out on to the epic viewing platform.

For the time being, only 3,000 tickets (priced at £20, $25 or A$37) are available per day, to ensure social-distancing measures are met. But what that does mean is visitors have much more space to themselves – and are able to enjoy the 270-degree panoramas in relative peace and quiet.

Ever wanted to feel like you’re walking in mid-air? The Crystal can deliver.

Raffles City ChongqingPhotograph: CapitaLand

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