A Shanghai building ‘walks’ to a new location

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City planning officials have reportedly installed cameras in a prefabricated apartment to see where it is permanently situated

A Shanghai building ‘walks’ to a new location

City planners in China have turned a prefabricated apartment building into an enormous walking sculpture that travels to the company that manufactured it.

The simple structure, named the Walking Tower, is dubbed the “world’s most intelligent” skyscraper by Shanghai officials. The developers, Shanghai No 1 Sky Innovation, installed cameras in the wooden construction to check where it was continually positioned, in an effort to keep it situated in a plot of land in the city’s scenic south.

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The developers did not give a reason for the visit but say they hope to expand the Walking Tower to make bigger projects, but have yet to submit the plans to regulatory authorities.

Citing local media reports, the Shanghai Daily newspaper said the developers hope to install a small tower with solar panels in the background.

The 3,100 sq m Walking Tower has been likened to a tram, and the graphics running on its smaller counterpart look more like an animated scene from the Pixar film Inside Out.

Its creators have also encouraged people to “walk in a virtual world, in a virtual space.”

According to Shanghai Daily, the design was put together by a Finnish team which was commissioned by four Chinese developers for the project.

It was designed by Mika Mityoumi, Ben-Jaravus Montufar and Anders Lindgren, who worked for Finnstuy Design Group based in Finland.

The walking tower is built from wood from a species of merino sheep. Photograph: Architecture Browser/Fortune

While not much can be seen of the building in its current form, the standing structure appears to be pliable, with figures walking forward as if they were jogging.

Mityoumi and Montufar said they designed the project to “promote connectivity” by staying in “one place”.

“This is about bringing people together and as we move forward this tower will grow bigger,” the architects said in an emailed statement.

On their website the duo said it made “staying in one place easier.” They added that a part of the structure was green-friendly with timber from a species of merino sheep used in the design.

When the tower is eventually built, it will stretch up to 12 storeys high. It is expected to be completed in 2021.

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