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World's longest ‘horizontal skyscraper’ topped out

The world’s longest “horizontal skyscraper”, built across the top of four towers in south east China, has been topped out.

The 300m long, 32.5m wide and 26.5m high sky bridge sits across two 47-storey and two 46-storey residential towers 250m off the ground and connects to a 73-storey residential tower and a 65-storey office-and-hotel tower by two cantilevered bridges.

The development is part of an eight tower “city” designed by structural engineers from Arup and Safdie Architects which also designed the similar Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore.

The bridge, known as the Crystal, is made up of a continuous steel structure weighing 12,000t and enclosed by a ring comprising about 3,000 glass panels and close to 5,000 aluminium panels.

To build the bridge, the steel structure was divided into nine segments.

Four segments were built in-situ above the four towers, the three middle segments were then prefabricated on ground and hoisted into place by hydraulic strand jacks to be suspended over the gaps between the four towers.

The two cantilever sections were assembled in short sections from the two ends of the outer towers.

A spokesperson for developer CapitaLand said hoisting each of the 1,100t middle segments, 250m from the ground was a world first.

The Crystal will contain 120 trees, which will grow to about 9m when they have matured. It will also have a 50m long by 8m wide swimming pool and an adjoining 10m long by 8m wide children’s pool.

CapitaLand Group President Lucas Loh said: “The successful topping out of Raffles City Chongqing represents a new milestone in CapitaLand’s track record of building well-designed integrated spaces. After six years of construction using state-of-the-art engineering technologies, we are proud to present in Raffles City Chongqing, an iconic architectural form resembling a powerful sail surging forward on the historic Chaotianmen site.” 

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