Project Management Institute

Lying Down on the Job

A Horizontal Skyscraper Required a Team to Change Perspective

“Raffles City Chongqing is a landmark urban renewal project that expresses and shapes Chongqing's global city aspirations.”

—Lim Ming Yan, former president and Group CEO of property developer CapitaLand, to ArchDaily



Skyscraper construction is nothing new in China. But what makes the four skyscrapers in Chongqing so visually striking isn't their height—but rather the 1,000-foot (305-meter) skybridge that nestles atop them. Called a “horizontal skyscraper” by some and dubbed The Crystal by architect Moshe Safdie, the steel-and-glass skybridge is filled with restaurants, shops, a conservatory and observation decks. It's perched 850 feet (259 meters) above ground and links together more towers than any other similar project in the world.

Though the skybridge rests atop four skyscrapers, it's actually part of an eight-tower design known as Raffles City Chongqing, slated to be complete in late 2019. To erect The Crystal, which weighs 12,000 tons, the project team took a mixed approach. The structure was designed as nine segments, with four built in place above the four towers, three segments prefabricated on the ground and then hoisted into place, and the end caps assembled from the adjacent towers.

In a statement, Lucas Loh, president and CEO, China, of CapitaLand, said the skybridge's design evokes the city's maritime past, “resembling a powerful sail surging forward on the historic Chaotianmen site.”


The Crystal


Chongqing, China


The skybridge construction was completed in February. The larger CNY24 billion Raffles City Chongqing is slated to wrap up this year.


The Crystal weighs as much as France's Eiffel Tower.

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