Century Global Center

You have got to hand it to the Chinese. They have managed to do two things with relative ease that will probably get the goat (by the beard) of many in the Western world. They have managed to open the largest free-standing building in the world and secondly they have done it despite the fact that apparently they have no money left and are going down the tubes. At least, they will do it in style, Chinese-style.

The USA used to be the land of superlative diction. Long-gone are those times. The Chinese have built there era of future prosperity, history in the making and recognition that they are the country where it’s happening.

The Century Global Century just through its name plans on going down in prosperous history as the largest free-standing building in the world for at least until the century is over and wherever that might be in the world. It’s now open, 500 meters long, 400 meters wide, 100 meters high, that’s 1.76 million square meters, making it the largest building in the world. It took three years to complete! A mega-structure. The USA was the age of super-structures. China went one step further and became mega. It opened on June 28th and is located in the capital of Sichuan Province, Chengdu. One third of the space is devoted to shopping malls. It has offices and conference rooms. There is a university complex, hotels, cinemas, restaurants, a 5, 000 square-meter fake beach, fake sunsets and sunrises projected onto massive wall-screens. A fake Mediterranean village to roam around to your heart’s content and think you are in Europe. Will they have fake youth sitting on the streets unemployed, begging in representation of Spain or Portugal to make it look all the more realistic or fake riots in Greece? The Chinese are past masters at faking it, aren’t they?

Century Global Center, Chengdu

Century Global Center, Chengdu


The Century Global Center stands as a monument to the age of building progression in China. Analysts believe that prices in the real estate sector in China will increase by 7% this year. Last year they increased 7.7% and by 6.8% in 2011 (residential property alone). Due to population migration towards urban areas, there is an estimated need of 10 million residential units every year, since the population movements will represent some 200 million this decade. Unbelievable! That means that demand will represent the entire housing stock of the UK, France and Germany put together. The question is whether or not China is actually building the homes that are needed by the poor and lower classes of society. Given the annual rises in accommodation prices, it doesn’t look as if they are. Unsold property (measured in floor-space) increased by 40% last year according to statistics, which means that there may well be a bubble at the top end of the housing market in China. But, then again, the Chinese will probably be able to add that to their list of things they have done best. There’s will be a mega housing bubble that will burst.

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