New Atlas’ Top Projects for 2020 Includes a ‘Horizontal Skyscraper’

Works ranging from one of Zaha Hadid’s final projects to a new McDonald’s branch and a building made of mud are among the 10 projects selected by The New Atlas website as its best buildings of 2020. For construction specifiers, one of the most intriguing has to be the so-called horizontal skyscraper that’s part of the Raffles City Chongqing project in China.

Designed by Moshe Safdie, the US$4.8 billion project has eight skyscrapers, four of which are 820 feet tall. These four towers support a 1,000-foot-long, 12,000-ton skyscraper dubbed the Crystal.

The Crystal’s viewing area is reachable via an elevator that takes just 50 seconds to transport visitors from the ground floor. The observation deck features a glass-bottomed floor that offers views of Chongqing as well as the point where the Yangtze and Jailing rivers converge.

The Crystal also has a members-only clubhouse with two swimming pools, restaurants, and bars.

Among the other projects honored is Opus, a hotel in Dubai in which both the exterior and interior were designed by the late Zaha Hadid. There’s also Anandaloy, a community building made from mud in Bangladesh that contains a therapy center and a retreat. In contrast, the McDonald’s outlet honored is at Disney World. It’s a net-zero building with an interior that can be naturally ventilated most of the year.