Chongqing World Financial Center
The Chongqing World Financial Center is a global financial building located in the Chinese city of Chongqing, it is a great representation of the meteoric rise of China’s fortunes recently. To note, the Chonqing World Financial Center (WFC) is also known as the Global Financial Center. We take a look at the background, construction and implications of its opening.
Chongqing is an important industrial base in Southwest China, located on the Yangtze River with the largest inland port in the country.
The WFC’s location is in the heart of Jiefangbei central business district in the downtown area of the city. Chongqing has an urban population of 7.4 million and 28 million within its municipality. Chongqing covers an area of 5,473m2 (2,113m2). According to the 2010 census, the city is the most populous Chinese municipality. It ranks at number 9 globally, at number 6 in Asia, and number 4 in China by the number of completed buildings over 150 meters. The average skyscraper age in the city is just 6 years. The most commonly used material is concrete (92%).
The Chongqing WFC proposals were laid out in 2007, with construction starting in 2010. It offers working offices as well as a shopping mall. It is the tallest building in the city, although it will be overtaken by the International Commerce 1 Building which is due to be completed in 2017. There are 72 floors above ground and 6 below ground. The building contains 43 elevators, which have a top speed of 8 metres per second. There are 837 parking spaces in the WFC.
The WFC enjoys great water transport links, thanks to its location on the Yangtze River. Being the largest inland port, it attracts cruise liners as well as cargo ships, making it a major freight destination. This is also the case by railway and the city is a chief rail hub nationally. Air links with the rest of China, South East Asia, the Middle East and Europe are available from the Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport.
The WFC stands at an impressive 338.9m (1,112ft) tall, with an occupied height of 310.3m (1,018ft). The style is a late-modernist super-tall skyscraper, constructed from glass and steel. The building is currently ‘topped out’, meaning it has reached its highest point.
Chongqing Architecture, Engineering and Design
The WFC is owned by the Chongqing Worthy Land Co., the building’s architects were C.Y. Lee & Partners with Dayuan Architecture Design Consulting. C.Y Lee & Partners’ other projects include the Sarira Pagoda of Shanxi Famen Temple and the Taipei Financial Center (Taipei 101), which was the world’s tallest skyscraper upon completion in 2004.
Arup and Chongqing Architecture and Design both provided Structural Engineer consultation on the project. Arup is an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers and consultants. The company was one of the first foreign designers to be involved in projects in the city.
The main Contractor on the WFC project was the China State Construction Fourth Engineering Division Corporation. The company was co-initiated by four Fortune Global 500 companies, all Chinese. It is a relatively young company, being formally established in 2007.
The area is already thriving, with many four and five star hotels within walking distance of the WFC. It is home to local as well as international companies – many within the services, finance and trade industries.
The WFC has drawn wealth and opportunity to the area. The city’s rapid expansion is attracting an influx of international and local migration (from rural to urban). Chongqing was traditionally an important military base – because of its remote location – but recent diversification has seen its economy boom. It is China’s third largest center for car production and the largest for motorbikes. US car giant Ford has three plants in the city.
This kind of expansion is typical of what onlookers are seeing all over China. Construction of these magnificent skyscrapers is not only providing jobs for locals, but encouraging an unprecedented rural-to-urban migration within China. The urban population exceeded that in rural areas for the first time ever in 2012, with just over 680 million now living in cities, 51% of China’s 1.35 billion population. The last two decades have seen an economic boom, with many people migrating to seek opportunities that are laid out by projects such as the Chongqing World Financial Center.