NPR logo China Unveils Massive Building — With Fake Beach, Fake Sun

China Unveils Massive Building — With Fake Beach, Fake Sun

A view of the New Century Global Center in Chengdu, China. The structure — located in a suburb of Chengdu, in southwest China's Sichuan province — is home to an indoor beach and a faux Mediterranean village. Barcroft Media/Landov hide caption

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Barcroft Media/Landov

A view of the New Century Global Center in Chengdu, China. The structure — located in a suburb of Chengdu, in southwest China's Sichuan province — is home to an indoor beach and a faux Mediterranean village.

Barcroft Media/Landov

The Chinese are calling the New Century Global Center, which opened in late June in Chengdu, the world's largest stand-alone structure.

A view of a section of the Paradise Island Water Park, which features an artificial beach, in the New Century Global Center in Chengdu, China. Barcroft Media/Landov hide caption

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Barcroft Media/Landov

Inside, visitors can shop, stay at either of two 1,000-room luxury hotels, go to a skating rink, or even a fake beach or fake Mediterranean village all lit by a fake sun.

It isn't the world's tallest building — that honor belongs to Dubai's Burj Khalifa; nor is it the largest — that's the Boeing Everett Factory in Everett, Wash. What the New Century Global Center appears to be is the world's biggest building by floor space. Just how big is it?

Well, inside it you can fit ...

... 20 of these

Sydney Opera House in Australia David Davies/PA Photos/Landov hide caption

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David Davies/PA Photos/Landov

Sydney Opera House in Australia

David Davies/PA Photos/Landov

four of these ...

St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Matteo Losito/AP hide caption

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Matteo Losito/AP

St. Peter's Square at the Vatican

Matteo Losito/AP

and three of these ...

The Pentagon building, outside Washington, D.C. Jason Reed/Reuters/Landov hide caption

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Jason Reed/Reuters/Landov

The Pentagon building, outside Washington, D.C.

Jason Reed/Reuters/Landov

Now, if the name Chengdu, China, sounds familiar, it's probably because you recall it as the scene of the devastating earthquake in 2008, which killed nearly 70,000 people. Much of that area has been rebuilt in the five years after the quake — with mixed results.

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