Residents of this apartment block in China have lived with an actual train going through the building for 11 years now.
Amazingly, they haven’t complained about the noise (if you take state-run media’s word for it.)
All the same, the building’s design seems to work remarkably well in mountainous and dense Chongqing, where builders say it was necessary to have the train go through the block.
The train reportedly runs on rubber tyres with air suspension units, and produce a mere 75.8 decibels of sound — 10 dB above a normal conversation.
Residents interviewed by the government-run Chongqing Evening News say that they’ve never experienced any noise pollution from the trains. One resident who lived on the ninth floor said she could only hear the trains coming into the station when the surrounding neighbourhood becomes quiet.
She was quoted as saying: “But it isn’t really noise and doesn’t hurt the ears.”
Another resident — who lived on the 11th floor — said that she was not aware of any noise coming from the train either. “We’ve lived here for nearly nine years, and there’s not one instance where the monorail’s noise was the cause of complaint,” she said. “The cars on the street are even louder.”
The apartment block and railway line in the central Chinese city took two years to design, and nearly four years to build. The rail is part of the Chongqing Line 2, which spans the southern end of the city, and was completed in 2005.
The first five floors consist of commercial space, so the train doesn’t run past any residential houses, either. The 9th to 19th floors are residential.
The Liziba station, where you get on the train is between the 6th and 8th floor, and the train runs through 132 meters (433 ft) of the building, said design lead for the station, Ye Tianyi.
Ye reportedly said in 2014 that the trains cause little to no vibration to the building, because the complex’s support structures are independent of the rail’s.
“Between the six pillars that support the rail and the building, there is about 20cm (7.9 in) of distance,” Ye told the Chongqing Evening News.
The stations have even become minor attractions, say residents, who often witness tourists taking pictures at the train platforms itself.