Chengdu's Exhibition and Travel Group (ETG/会展旅游集团) announced plans to build the "world's largest standalone structure," to be unveiled next year. The complex will be built adjacent to ETG's Century City and will house commercial offices, shopping centers, cultural and tourism venues, and leisure and entertainment complexes and feature design by renowned Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid.
With 1.5 million square meters of floor plans—more than that of the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai—the structure will comprise three elements: the New Century City World Center, the Central Plaza, and the New Century Contemporary Art Center. Within will be two 1,000-room five-star hotels and 300,000 square meters of shopping centers encompassing an ice-skating rink, a luxury IMAX theater, game arcades, and a 20,000-capacity marine park with 400 meters of "coastline" and 5,000 sqm of "beach" replete with a "coastal town," a fisherman's wharf, and hot springs.
The oceanic getaway for landlocked Chengdu residents doesn't end there. The entire complex will be designed with a Mediterranean, seaside theme: The pathway leading up the Central Square will be lined with 44 fountains, at the end of which visitors will be greeted by a 150-meter-diameter musical water fountain spraying water up to 60 meters high. With its precise controls, LED underwater lights, and digital technology, ETG executive president Liu Yang hopes that the fountain will compare with those in Dubai, Macau, and Las Vegas.
The Hadid-designed Contemporary Art Center is projected to be the largest and most comprehensive arts and cultural center in West China, with a 30,000-sqm museum of contemporary art, a 12,000-sqm exhibition hall, and an 1,800-seat grand theatre.
The Exhibition and Travel Group is one of West China's largest property developers. Its projects include seven four- and five-star hotels, commercial property districts, both the Shawan International and the Century City New Convention and Exhibition Centers in Chengdu, and the Jiuzhai Paradise International Resort and Convention Center in Jiuzhaigou.
The project is slated for completion in 2012. At that time, it will join its twin, the Century City Conference and Exhibition Center, and the landmark will be dubbed "the Gemini of the South."