In the Qingcheng District of Guangdong Province, the Chinese have created a unique structure that makes tourists gasp with wonder. Called the Huangtengxia Glass Corridor, it is 1,640 feet tall and is made almost entirely of glass. But what makes it special is the man-made waterfall — a sight stunning to behold!
The Glass Corridor
“Huangtengxia Glass Corridor is the world’s longest and tallest single-column cantilevered glass corridor, and has the world’s largest circular waterfall and the world’s largest single piece of glass. The transparent glass, with a thickness of 6 cm and transparency of 99.9 percent, is the world’s most advanced glass material. The largest single piece of glass is 15 square meters, equal to the size of a bedroom,” according to TravelsR.
The entire structure is supported by three huge steel pillars. The people who created the glass corridor installed almost 2,000 electric lights on the circular bridge and 450 water nozzles for the spectacle. Tourists often call the structure “big rackets,” as it looks like two tennis rackets lying across the mountain. The glass corridor is 1,207 feet in length and has a height equivalent to a 166-story building.
Though many tourists feel a sudden dread when trying to walk on the glass, they quickly realize that the structure is perfectly safe. It provides an excellent view of the southern urban landscape of Qingyuan and the northern Huangteng Gorge’s primitive terrain. In the early hours of the day, the structure looks as if it is hanging above the clouds. There is a light and music system integrated into the waterfall that creates a magical atmosphere.
“During the daytime, the huge artificial waterfall dances to the music like it’s interpreting an elegant waltz in a formal white dress. At dusk, as the angle of the sunshine shifts, the musical waterfall turns into a crystal curtain, creating a dazzling rainbow. As night falls and the lights are turned on, visitors can enjoy a colorful musical waterfall,” according to Shenzhen Daily. Huangtengxia Glass Corridor is the world’s largest circular musical waterfall, with a circumference of 550 feet.
It took about 12 months for the glass corridor to be completed. It can bear the weight of up to 400 tons at a time, which roughly equals about 4,000 people of a maximum 165 pounds each. Twenty dampers have been installed in the corridor to ensure its security. The glass corridor is open to visitors from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. It costs about US$28 for an entrance ticket.
Famous glass structures
There are several stunning glass architectural wonders crafted by visionary engineers all across the world. Al Dar headquarters in Abu Dhabi is the first circular building in the Middle East. Featuring a convex glass exterior, it was made from recyclable materials. In Brazil, the Botanical Garden of Curitiba was built in 1991 based on French-style gardens. The greenhouse in the garden is made of glass and measures about 450 square feet in size.
St. Mary Axe in London, affectionately called the “Gherkin” by city dwellers, is the mastermind of Foster and Partners. The structure is built from steel and glass and is considered a perfect example of futuristic architecture. What makes it stand out from the rest of the buildings in the vicinity is its energy efficiency. Since the structure is designed with double-glazed glass and shafts that allow air and light to enter the building, it only uses about half the energy of a similar-sized building.