World's largest building opens for business in China


July 17, 2013

The world's largest building has opened for business in China (Image: ETG)

The world's largest building has opened for business in China (Image: ETG)

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The world's largest building has opened for business in Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan province, China. The New Century Global Center boasts a mammoth 1.7 million sq m (almost 19 million sq ft) of indoor space, which is four fifths the size of Monaco.

Owned by the Exhibition and Travel Group (ETG), the New Century Global Center has exterior dimensions of 500 x 400 x 100 m (1,600 x 1,300 x 300 ft), and took three years to build. The building is linked to nearby Chengdu by 20 bus lines and an on-site metro station.

The New Century Global Center contains a theater and concert hall, each of which has a capacity of 1,000 people. The building features a total of 1,000 deluxe suites, an art gallery measuring some 30,00 sq m (322,000 sq ft), a conference hall, shopping centers, multiple hotels and offices, and a 14-screen IMAX Cineplex. Parts of the exterior facade are styled to resemble a seagull's wings, and there's a strong oceanic theme throughout.

Though located far from the coast, visitors to the building's Paradise Isle Oceanic Park wing of are greeted with the smell of the sea, a fake coastline complete with sand, the largest wave-pool in the world, and a river-rapids ride. There are also water slides, surfing facilities, and what may be the world's largest LED screen, at 150 x 40 m (490 x 130 ft).

As if further illustration of the grandness of this structure was needed, there's an entire fake "Mediterranean village" shopping area installed somewhere under the Center's sizable roof.

The scale of the project is mind-boggling, and if you can stick around past the superlatives in the opening minutes of the video below, there's some additional detail inside.

Sources: ETG, GoChengdoo [1], [2], [3]

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Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road. All articles by Adam Williams

This will definitely be on my 'bucket list' of places to see. It is way cool, IMO. It is another reason to see China.


Is this just another mammoth Chinese development built for the sake of GDP that will stay empty?


This looks like (and sounds like) a glorious realization of a sentiment promoted by corporate interests in America and China (and perhaps Europe). If this has actually been made to work, I hope its momentary success can be enjoyed by folks whose experience of exploitation makes them deserving of an earthly heaven (and who can blind themselves to the punitive environment which is inevitably developing outside). I cannot deny the sense of horror which grew in me as I watched its promotion. Have its corporate developers no sense of guilt?

Gordon McShean

Maybe but not likely pin. It's a classic "if you build it, they will come". It has so many reasons for people to want to be there, for both the local population as well as international visitors. Its MASSIVE scale is mind-boggling, and i would like to see it covered live instead of this animated video promo. Every little detail seems to have been thought of. It illustrates the epic capabilities of today's Chinese culture. Truly remarkable stuff, but for its success, the jury is still out.

One has to admire this (and other) expressions of modern China, especially if you consider the population density compared to the west. And for those who think in the chauvinist American/Hollywood style of "we do it better", it may not mean very much.


Look up Ghost Cities in China this is just another of china's ridiculous GDP growth projects that rarely pay off. Art requires Freedom you are not going to find it in China.

Joseph Mertens

Sorry no. The Boeing Commercial Aircraft plant in Everett WA is still king.

Bob Ehresman

My office will be there as of next month and I can accurately say that it's an awesome building. One must do research on Chengdu to fully understand why this building and it's location makes perfect sense.

My lunch breaks are going to be rather nice....

Jack Fancy

Largest building, fastest trains, most college graduates, soon-to-be-biggest economy... We're falling behind fast folks. Our world dominance will soon be a thing of the past. Get used to it!


Did they actually describe their road infrastructure as 'omnipresent'? Twice? Leave the omni descriptions to God, thank you very much!

At 13:40, did they actually use 'pompous' as a complimentary adjective? Wow! Can anyone say self-aggrandizement? While giving them props on the accommodations, I must say they have to work on the humility component, or lack thereof!


"Our world dominance will soon be a thing of the past."

US global domination was a fluke for which we must thank Hitler and Churchill. It was inevitable that such dominance is fleeting.

Ron Johnson

It comes as no surprise that the Chinese have mastered the art of fake.

Thomas Roberts

Monaco is 202 ha so if this building is 80% of the size it must be around 160 hectares so at least 4 times bigger than the Boeing facility at Everell Field which is believe is 98 acres or 40ha.


The Boeing Everett Factory, in Everett, Washington, volume (472,370,319 cu ft) or area (4,281,948 sf)..........New Century Global Center volume wins at (624,000,000 cu ft) or area (18,300,000 sf)

Steve H

Wikipedia lists the New Century Global Center as 260m cu. ft so Boeing still tops that statistic. This seems ballpark as it gives the average height of all the floor space of about 4.5m. A figure of 624m cu. ft gives an average height of about 11m which, even given the lofty communal areas, does not sound right for what is essentially a retail complex.

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