No, your eyes are not deceiving you. That definitely is a waterfall cascading down the side of a nearly 400-feet tall building. Called the Liebian International Plaza, the mixed-use skyscraper’s most prominent architectural feature is an astounding 350 feet, making it one of the tallest man-made waterfalls in the world.
The building can be found in Guiyang, China, in the province of Guizhou, which hosts one of the largest natural waterfalls in China. It’s no surprise that inspiration from this natural wonder would find its way into the architecture of the booming city.
However, running the waterfall is anything but natural. According to Fortune, the hourly electrical cost of pumping water from holding tanks on the ground to the waterfall’s mouth near the top of the building costs $118.
Because of this high cost, the man-made waterfall will only be used on very special occasions for up to 20 minutes. Sorry, but there goes your dreams of having an office space with a view from behind a waterfall every day.
A representative for Guizhou Ludiya Property Management said, “The water we use is recycled underground tap water, some rainwater or other channels of water. We have four underground water storage and drainage systems. The water is pumped from the negative four-tier reservoir, and then recycled.” So at least we know they’re not wasting potable water on this rare urban ablution.
Citizens were concerned about the skyscraper acting as a water hog, but they can now sit back, relax, and enjoy the rare occasion when this impractical, though fun, tourist attraction is fired up and a cascade of recycled water rushes down the entire face of an office building. We wonder how well this cools the air on a particularly hot Chinese summer day. Game for a trip to Guizhou to test it out?
While you’re there, check out some other interesting Chinese architecture, like this Scottish-style castle in the mountains, this luxury hotel built in a former quarry, and this 1,640-foot massive glass slide down the side of an actual mountain.