CNN reports that The New Century Global Center – at 1.7 million square meters, Chinese officials say it is the “largest freestanding building in the world” – opened in Chengdu last week:
Though the words “world’s largest” usually bring to mind an image of a towering skyscraper, this project actually isn’t all that tall. But it’s certainly big.
At 500 meters long, 400 meters wide and 100 meters high, the 1.7-million-square-meter mega-structure is capable of housing 20 Sydney Opera Houses and almost three times the size of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
The Global Center, which opened June 28, is home to business offices, hotels, movie theaters, shopping malls, a faux Mediterranean village and family-themed attractions such as a water park called Paradise Island. [Source]
The New Century Global Center will anchor a new development area of Chengdu and will coincide with an expansion of the city’s subway lines, according to CNN, which adds that Chengdu also plans to build a new airport by 2020. The structure appears to be the latest in a long line of “face projects” commissioned by local governments in China, as authorities have built palatial government offices across the country.