Nineteen atriums, office space for 4,000 workers, and 800 apartments are all housed in the new Mini Sky City in China's Hunan province—a 57-story architectural feat that took its builder just 19 working days to erect, the AP reports. The glass-and-steel structure was put up by Broad Sustainable Building Co. using a modular process that allowed construction workers to put together three floors a day like they were building a Lego house. "With the traditional method, they have to build a skyscraper brick by brick, but with our method, we just need to assemble the blocks," a company engineer says. The 2,700-plus modules were created over nearly five months; the actual construction was split up into two separate building periods that worked around wintry conditions.
There have been detractors, but not regarding how well the building is constructed (a company VP tells the AP that the skyscraper is safe and earthquake-ready). Instead, some don't like the cookie-cutter design that could lead to boring city skylines if everyone starts building the modular way. "It is not perfect," an engineering consultant tells the AP. "People nowadays want more personalized architecture." Now that this project is under its belt, Broad Sustainable has loftier goals in mind: building a 220-story skyscraper (the world's tallest) in three months. (Meanwhile, South Korea's "invisible" skyscraper hasn't gotten off the ground yet.)