A 100m tall cliff-face of blue mirrored glass, stretching 500m along a triumphal plaza, the New Century Global Centre houses an entire seaside resort, along with a 14-screen Imax cinema, Olympic-sized ice rink, two five-star hotels and its own Mediterranean shopping village – all wrapped with a vast ribbon of offices. Sprawling for 1.7m square metres, it could fit 20 Sydney Opera Houses beneath its glass roof. It is declared by its creators to be “a landmark which commands the world and is looked upon by the world with respect,” a pleasure dome that Kubla Khan could only dream of.
Positioned at the heart of the city’s Tianfu district, a new hub for finance, IT and biochemical industries, the building squats like an overfed prize fowl, teetering out in all directions and looming above a neighbouring art centre by Zaha Hadid – a dwarf in comparison, at 140,000 square metres. Its design, say the developers, is “themed with a comprehensive and profound oceanic culture and inspired by the design concept of sailing seagulls and undulating waves”.