Connect to share and comment

World's largest building, New Century Global Centre, opens in China (VIDEO)

Large enough to house 20 Sydney Opera Houses, it's three times larger than the Pentagon and has its own sunlight.

When the sun is beating down so relentlessly on a scorched earth, blasting through what was once our ozone layer, we can rest assured there’s a place to watch the sunset without fears of instantaneous skin cancer: China’s New Century Global Center.

Did that come off a tad jaded? Sorry, we digress.

The New Century center is probably a very fine place; after all, Chinese authorities say it’s now the world’s largest building, or “standalone structure.”

Not the tallest, mind you, simply the man-made structure that occupies the most space.

You know, where the trees once stood. Sorry, again!

It’s a vast, wavy rectangular box of glass and steel that will house shops, offices and a water park with a huge LED screen for those aforementioned video sunsets.

The New Century center officially opened last month in Chengdu, in the southwest province of Sichuan, a city of 14 million people.

It has 19 million square feet of floor space, edging out the previous record-holder, the Dubai airport.

Here are some other jaw-dropping stats, courtesy the Associated Press, NBC and CNet:

- It’s as large as 329 football fields
- It’s 1,300 feet wide, 328 feet high
- The water park can accommodate 6,000 visitors – at once
- The largest video screen is nearly 500 feet wide
- It will contain not one, but a pair of 1,000-room, five-star hotels
- There’s a 14-screen Imax theatre and skating rink
- For your shopping pleasure, you’ll find a replica Mediterranean town
- It’s three-times larger than the Pentagon and could hold 20 Sydney Opera Houses inside
- It’s roughly the same size as Monaco
- It took three years to build

Oh, yeah, it has its own (fake) sunlight that also warms you.

More from GlobalPost: Broken China, a special report

“We have borrowed a Japanese technique. There will be an artificial sun that will shine 24 hours a day and allow for a comfortable temperature,” guide Liu Xun told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Las Vegas casino owners take note.

Until now, Chengdu was known for its Foxconn factories churning out Apple products – and its world-class blanket of smog.

Now, the New Century project is a sign that China’s growth – what many believe is actually stagnant, but continues due to government money – might be spreading from the country’s more prosperous eastern and southern regions to the west.

Backed by local governments, the building will have offices, hotels, shops and an ocean park — all under one roof.

The Canadian Press contributed to this report.

More from GlobalPost: China moving 700 mountains to build entirely new city

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/china/130712/worlds-largest-building-new-century-global-center