Safdie Architects' 'Horizontal Skyscraper' Opens in Chongqing

John Hill
17. June 2020
Photo via CapitaLand

Only the firm headed by architect Moshe Safdie could make the firm's massive Marina Bay Sands in Singapore seem almost diminutive. Whereas that 9-year-old building complex features three towers capped by a "skypark" with rooftop pool, the new Raffles City complex in Chongqing stretches its skybridge across four towers that are placed amongst four other towers. 

It is clearly a project of superlatives. One is the height of the skybridge: 250 meters (820 feet), reportedly the highest of its kind. The skybridge – called a horizontal skyscraper by the architect – stretches 350 meters (1,150 feet) and contains gardens, dining and event spaces, a residential clubhouse, pool, hotel lobby, and a public observatory with a glass-bottom viewing deck. This last, the Exploration Deck, opened in May.

Additional skybridges link two of the four towers to the two tallest towers at the prow of the site, which is at the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers. "Prow" is an accurate word since Safdie Architects conceptualized the curved towers and skybridge akin to sailing vessels, as the below video from the firm indicates. 

At the base of the towers is a five-story retail podium with 230,000 sm (2.4 million sf) shopping mall that opened in September 2019. The whole complex – including residences, hotel, and office space in the towers – adds up to 1.13 million sm (12.1 million sf). The client for the massive 3.4 billion USD project is Singapore's CapitaLand.

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