World’s Tallest Tower Coming to Changsha, China? The J220 Sky City!

120 West 57th Street, The Viceroy Hotel120 West 57th Street, The Viceroy Hotel

The height race between the Middle East and Eastern Asia has been on since the late 1990s, but has seen some relaxation since the Burj Khalifa in Dubai took the world’s tallest title in 2008. As the real estate crash put the brakes on many projects in the Middle East, focus has turned to China, where it seems a new supertall is proposed on a daily basis. Now, a developer in the interior city of Changsha has taken the race to a new level: proposing to build the world’s tallest building at almost 3,000 feet in a mere three months!

Detailed renderings of the project have only just been released, and World of Architecture has the full set. Still, the comparison between the building–to be known as the J220 Sky City–and its surroundings show just how massive the structure truly is. Unlike the Burj Khalifa, which tapers to a gradual point and isn’t bulky to begin with, the Sky City is simply enormous.

J220 Sky City, Image from World of Architecture

The scope of the building is evident in the title, which reflects the building’s floor count: 220! Even the largest skyscrapers typically only have up to 120 floors, as the space required for elevators past the century mark becomes so significant. If built, and that is a major if, the project would easily take the title of most floors in one building as well as the world’s tallest structure (the specific measurement is 2,749 feet).

More impressive, or perhaps frightening, is the developer’s goal to complete the project in only three months. The project will be pre-fabricated, meaning construction will be incredibly rapid if it is indeed built. The building’s developer, The Broad Group, has built thirty-story towers in only fifteen days before, with video of the construction making it to Youtube.

While the ambition and scope of the project are admirable, the design and safety of such a tower leave much to be desired. Sky City is just incredibly massive, and the comparison with surroundings in the rendering make it look ridiculous. The Burj Khalifa may have tall company nearby to make it less of a sore thumb, but the below renderings show the Sky City basically rising in a field. Perhaps monolithic would be the best adjective?

Apparently the project’s inauguration is being held up by red tape, but that’s most certainly a good thing in this situation. Safety in high rises should be an architect’s number one priority, and building a nearly 3,000 foot mega-skyscraper in three months doesn’t exactly assuage concerns. Whether the Sky City is built or not remains to be seen, but one thing’s for sure, and that’s The Broad Group’s ambition.

TFC Horizon