The New York Times just published a piece about China's long-awaited Sky City Tower, you know, the world's soon-to-be tallest building that broke ground in July and halted construction 10 days later, the 202-story skyscraper developers once insisted—then recanted, then insisted again—would take just 90 days to build. With the flurry of media attention and speculation, the facts get muddled easily, but luckily the Times cuts through it all, clarifying not only the nature of the tower ("to be assembled in only four months from factory-built modules of steel and concrete") but also the ripples undulating from its construction, including "a burst of national introspection in recent days about whether Chinese municipal leaders and developers have gone too far." Here now, 12 facts from The Times piece on China's "increasingly manic reach for the skies:"
12. Sky City will only be 10 meters (about 33 feet) taller than the Burj Khalifa, but will have 39 more floors. This is because Sky City will mostly be an apartment complex, and residences do not need the same "hollow spaces under the floors as offices require for wiring and cooling."
11. Right now, China is home to 60 of the world's 100 tallest buildings under construction.
10. Construction for 202-story Sky City Tower began on July 20 with the digging of foundations.
9. What the workers have done thus far: "dug a large hole in the ground for the foundations and have just laid a four-lane road to the site to bring in heavy equipment."
8. Construction stopped shortly after because regulators in Beijing ordered it. The chairman of Broad Sustainable Building, the developers of Sky City, told the Times: "It's because of all the concern in the media and on the Internet, the government is a little wary and has slowed down the process."
7. BSB was not asked to change the design at all.
6. Per the article: "David Scott, a prominent structural engineer in London who has worked on many extremely tall buildings, said that regulatory delays were a periodic problem for such projects all over the world, but could usually be overcome."
5. The delay is expected to last "no more than two to three months."
4. Construction is slated to wrap up in June or July of next year.
3. Somewhere in the bottom 15 floors there will be office spaces and a school (kindergarten through eighth grade). There will also be a hotel near the top and a coffee shop at the tippy-top.
2. Broad Group may be the official owner of the building, but it's "negotiated deals in recent months for the sale of practically the entire building to 'four or five' investment companies," the Times reports.
1. The best quote from the piece? Zhang Yue, chairman of the Broad Group told the Times' Keith Bradsher: "Things that I envision are definitely going to get done, no doubt ... Ordinary people do not know the challenges and issues I face every single day. There are so many issues, 24 hours in a day are not enough for me to deal with all of them." (Bradsher writes he "exudes confidence ... even at the risk of immodesty.")