Raffles City Chongqing is a super-scale development in the very heart of the city at the junction of the Yangtze and Jialing Rivers. This strategic location gives huge symbolic significance to Raffles City as an icon of the booming central Chinese city of Chongqing.

A nod to the past and a look to the future

The design pays tribute to Chongqing’s noble past as a trading centre and is inspired by the great sailing vessels that plied the rivers. Conceived as a mixed-use development, Raffles City consists of a shopping mall and eight towers for residential, office, serviced residence and hotel use, with a total ground floor area (GFA) exceeding 1,127,000m².The complex also serves as an important transportation hub, integrating the main bus terminus, subway station and ferry terminal.

Arup was asked to provide structural engineering services for every design stage of this, the largest Raffles City development in the world.

Raffles City Chongqing

Iconic engineering for a mega-frame structure

The ambitious structure includes eight towers that gently arc forwards, creating an ‘apex’ for the city’s peninsula that resembles the great masts of a ship with its sails driving the city forward.

We adapted four mega corner columns and connected them to the central core wall via diagonal outriggers and belt trusses to form an effective mega frame structural system.

To realise the extended curvature along the height of the four residential towers, we restrained the curving perimeter columns with belt trusses to provide lateral stability. The four towers are capped by a huge conservatory that provides multiple amenities including green spaces and a 360-degree view of the city.