Chongqing – On June 12, the documentary Moshe Safdie: Another Dimension of Architecture premiered in the horizontal crystal gallery of Raffles City. As a brand new landmark, Raffles City has gained great popularity since it’s opened to the public in September 2019. Recently, the opening of its long-awaited 250-meter high sky bridge named ‘Crystal’ has pushed people’s enthusiasm about the architecture to another extreme.
The ‘Crystal’ spans 300 meters across four buildings of the Raffles complex, which is the first horizontal skyscraper in China. Raffles City is designed by Moshe Safdie, the world-famous architect and whose works include Marina Bay Sands, Habitat 67, National Gallery of Canada, etc.
The documentary was produced by the architectural culture media Yi Yan Yi Wu, t which tells the story about Moshe Safdie’s design ideas behind Raffles City and how his team accomplished the Raffles City project while confronting challenges.
The Raffles City is located at Chaotianmen Dock, where the city was born and where the Yangtze River and Jialing River converge. “That ‘s where the idea of the buildings could give the feeling of sailboats. It’s like the project is the front of a ship that’s moving the city forward.” Mr. Safdie said in the documentary.
According to Mr. Safdie, as an architect, it’s important to immerse and understand the place. “You need to understand how to make an architecture that belongs in such a way that people feel that it belongs to them.” He said. “Chongqing’s topography just tells you the story. You have to go upstairs and downstairs. There are tough people here, and it is a tough landscape.” He said.
In terms of building area, Chongqing Raffles City is the largest project Mr. Safdie and his team have done and in terms of complexity, it’s the most complex project they have done. “It has the subway. It has a bus terminal. It has the shipping terminal. It has retail, housing, offices, hotel. So how we solve all the problems because it’s all integrated.” Mr. Safdie said. He always said the question “can you make a million square meter project human? Intimate?”.
In the documentary, one can be deeply touched by how the architect, among the complexity, tried hard to make the Raffles City sit harmoniously within the city.
Moshe Safdie: Another Dimension of Architecture
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