Globe and Mail – Broad Group’s chairman Zhang Yue told The Financial Times last month that financing was in place for Sky City One, architects are finishing blueprints and construction is to begin in December, 2012.
The Sky City plan is for a 838-meter tall, 220 story, multi-use tower with 1 million square meters of floor space.
Local reports suggest some government approvals are outstanding and a spokeswoman for Broad Group, contacted by phone, offered no new details. “Construction in the project hasn’t started,” said Zhu Linfang, the company’s media manager. “All is going as planned. But we cannot arrange interviews on this project now, and I have no more information to release … We will do it when all is set.”
While Jiang focuses on bringing Broad buildings to the world, her boss is fixated on the company’s most outlandish plan—the J220, a factory-built 220-floor behemoth that would just happen to be the tallest building in the world. It’s hard to say for sure that the 16-million-square-foot plan isn’t entirely a publicity stunt. But Zhang has hired some of the engineers who worked on the current height-record holder, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, and Broad has created two large models of “Sky City” (as the J220 has been nicknamed). The foundation is scheduled to be laid in November at a site in Hunan; if everything goes well, the building will be complete in March 2013. All in all, including factory time and onsite time, construction is expected to take just seven months. Again, that’s assuming it really happens: When my guide at the T30 plugs in one of the models and the lights flicker on, he tells me, “My chairman says we have to attract eyes. We have to shock the world.”
But if all Broad ever does is build 30-story skyscrapers—in 15 days, at $1,000 per square meter, with little waste and low worker risk, and where the end result can withstand a 9.0 quake—it will have shocked the world quite enough.