Types Of People Who Live Inside 'Dystopian' Apartment Block With 20,000 Residents Who Never Need To Go Outside
On 9th February 2024
Imagine a lifestyle where every daily necessity and social activity can be accomplished without leaving the confines of your apartment building.
This includes grocery shopping, catching up with friends over coffee, and even getting a stylish haircut.
Such a convenience-focused way of living is not a futuristic fantasy but a present-day reality for the residents of a unique apartment complex in Qianjiang Century City, situated in the bustling central business district of Hangzhou, China.
The complex in question, known as the Regent International, does more than just provide shelter for its 20,000 residents—it encapsulates the essence of a small town vertically integrated within a single, massive structure.
Towering at an impressive 675 feet (roughly 206 meters) and sprawling across 260,000 square meters, this behemoth of a building stands as one of the largest in all of China.
Originally intended to serve as a luxury hotel, the Regent International threw open its doors in 2013, boasting a design by Alicia Loo, the mastermind behind the design of the world-renowned Singapore Sands Hotel, recognized as the second seven-star hotel globally.
The capacity of this architectural marvel is estimated to house up to 30,000 individuals, painting a picture of a densely populated vertical community.
The demographic makeup of the Regent International is as diverse as it is intriguing.
Credit: Instagram / @billionaire_estates
The complex primarily houses graduates or those on the cusp of graduation, young professionals carving out their paths, small business owners establishing their footholds, and influencers looking to make their mark.
This melting pot of occupants contributes to a dynamic, ever-evolving community atmosphere.
Residing in this vertical small town comes with a price tag that varies significantly based on the size and features of the apartment.
The more modest, windowless apartments are available for rent at approximately 1,500 RMB ($210) a month, offering a budget-friendly option.
On the other hand, the more spacious and desirable units that boast balconies and additional amenities can fetch rental prices of up to 4,000 RMB ($560) monthly or even higher, reflecting the premium on space and luxury in such a sought-after location.
The Regent International isn't just notable for its residential offerings; the building itself is a self-contained ecosystem with 36 to 39 floors (depending on which side you're viewing it from) filled with an array of amenities and businesses.
From a vast food court that caters to every culinary craving, to swimming pools, barber shops, nail salons for pampering, medium-sized supermarkets for daily needs, and internet cafes for leisure and work—the residents hardly ever have a reason to venture outside, except perhaps to enjoy some fresh air.
The fascination with this gigantic facility has spread far and wide, with videos showcasing its expansive amenities and providing a glimpse into the lives of its inhabitants circulating online, eliciting astonishment and admiration from viewers around the globe.
In a similar vein, China harbored ambitions in 2012 to construct a structure that would eclipse all others in terms of height.
Dubbed Sky City, this proposed 2,749 ft (838-meter) tall complex aimed to snatch the title of the world's tallest building from the Burj Khalifa, which stands at 2,722 ft (over 829 meters) and was constructed over a span of five years.
The Changsha-based Broad Group ambitiously planned to erect Sky City in a mere 90 days, leveraging a novel construction technique that involved assembling thousands of prefabricated steel-and-concrete blocks on-site, akin to building a gigantic Lego house.
Credit: Instagram / @billionaire_estates
Envisioned as more than just a towering skyscraper, Sky City was designed to be a fully integrated community, capable of diverting at least 2,000 cars from the streets of Changsha by providing its residents with everything they could possibly need within its walls.
The project promised to include a shopping mall, school, hospital, office spaces, a roof garden, amusement park, sports facilities, an organic farm, and a 10-kilometer "walking street," offering an unparalleled urban living experience, as reported by CNN.
However, despite its grand vision, the Sky City project faced suspension due to safety concerns and the absence of necessary regulatory approvals, as detailed by Medium.
The halted construction site, under the threat of rising floodwaters, was ingeniously repurposed by local farmers into productive fish farms, illustrating a stark contrast between ambitious urban planning and the pragmatic adaptability of rural life.
The stories of the Regent International and the ultimately abandoned Sky City project continue to provoke widespread discussion and debate.
On one side of the conversation, proponents argue that such "small town" apartment blocks represent an innovative solution to the pressing housing crisis, offering a sustainable, compact, and affordable alternative to traditional housing models.
They see the potential for these megastructures to efficiently accommodate large populations within urban centers, reducing the need for extensive land use and potentially easing the strain on transportation networks and infrastructure.
Conversely, critics of these massive residential complexes draw parallels to dystopian narratives, voicing concerns over the safety implications and the psychological impact of cramming thousands of individuals into a single, towering structure.
They highlight the potential risks inherent in such high-density living arrangements, including the challenges of emergency evacuations in the event of fires or other disasters, and question the adequacy of these environments in supporting the psychological well-being of their residents.
The debate underscores the complexity of urban development and the ongoing search for balance between innovation, sustainability, and quality of life in the cities of the future.