China opens city-sized shopping mall, with fake sun

If you don’t care about authenticity, the New Century Global Center has everything you could want, including an artificial Mediterranean village.

The New Century Global Center building opened recently in Chengu, a city of more than 14 million people in southwest China’s Sichuan province. It’s described as “the world’s largest standalone structure” by Chinese officials and is 328 feet high, 1,640 feet long, and 1,312 feet wide.

While Boeing’s plant in Everett, Wash., is the world’s biggest building by volume, the Chinese mall seems to be tops in floor space. Almost the area of Monaco, its 420 acres of floor space could fit nearly three Pentagons, four Vatican Cities, or 20 Sydney Opera Houses.

Oh, and there’s an artificial beach, too.

But the ersatzery doesn’t stop there. While Chengdu’s factories, which include a Foxconn plant that turns out Apple gizmos, regularly contribute to the city’s smog problem, visitors will enjoy an artificial sun that gives off light and heat 24 hours a day and a 164-yard-long LED screen serving as a stand-in for the horizon.

The gargantuan pleasure dome took some three years to build. It has a distinct wavelike roof of girders and glass that might evoke London’s Crystal Palace of yore.

Full article: China opens city-sized shopping mall, with fake sun (c|net)

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