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'World's largest building' opens in China

By CNN Staff
updated 11:52 PM EDT, Mon July 1, 2013
To put this in perspective, Chengdu's New Century Global Center is big enough to house 20 Sydney Opera Houses. To put this in perspective, Chengdu's New Century Global Center is big enough to house 20 Sydney Opera Houses.
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Chengdu's New Century Global Center
Chengdu's New Century Global Center
Chengdu's New Century Global Center
Chengdu's New Century Global Center
Chengdu's New Century Global Center
Chengdu's New Century Global Center
Chengdu's New Century Global Center
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • New Century Global Center is the 'largest freestanding building in the world'
  • Mega-structure capable of housing 20 Sydney Opera Houses
  • Attractions include an IMAX cinema, water park and luxury retail outlets

(CNN) -- The superlatives in China continue -- the latest symbol of China's "bigger is much, much better" ethos is open for business.

Located in Chengdu (population 14 million), capital of Sichuan province in southwestern China, the New Century Global Center is the "largest freestanding building in the world," Chinese officials say.

Though the words "world's largest" usually bring to mind an image of a towering skyscraper, this project actually isn't all that tall. But it's certainly big.

At 500 meters long, 400 meters wide and 100 meters high, the 1.7-million-square-meter mega-structure is capable of housing 20 Sydney Opera Houses and almost three times the size of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

The Global Center, which opened June 28, is home to business offices, hotels, movie theaters, shopping malls, a faux Mediterranean village and family-themed attractions such as a water park called Paradise Island.

The New Century Global Center is located in an entirely new planned area of Chengdu called Tainfu New District.

Chengdu is also currently expanding its subway line and plans to construct a new airport by 2020, further suggesting official ambitions to make the city an economic and cultural capital of western China.

From June 6-8, Chengdu hosted this year's Fortune Global Forum, an annual invite-only event featuring chairs, presidents, and CEOs of the world's largest companies.

According to Xinhua, China's official state media, by the end of 2012 Chengdu's GDP had hit 800 billion RMB (US$130.48 billion).

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