The people of northern Turkey's Rize will soon have a new landmark and its builders say, once completed, it will be the world’s largest building in the shape of a tea glass.
Rize Commerce Exchange, which is constructing the 30-meter-high (98.43 feet) building in Turkey’s tea capital, applied to the Guinness World Records to get this unique, seven-story building formally listed.
Currently named the “Tea Market,” the building will serve to promote this Black Sea province’s most famous export. Overlooking a tea garden, the glass building embodies the favorite vessel for tea consumption of the Turkish public: a “slim-waisted” glass.
“This is a symbol of pride for us,” the exchange’s Chair Mehmet Erdoğan told Demirören News Agency (DHA).
Workers are currently putting the final touches on the building, which is expected to open next year. Built on an area of 9,500 square meters, the new landmark will give visitors access to anything and everything related to tea and the local culture.
In the marketplace spread over several floors, visitors will be able to sample every type of tea produced in Rize. It will also host shops selling local copperware and textiles, restaurants serving local cuisine and replicas of the province's natural and historic wonders.
The building will also house a tea history museum, a cinema screening documentaries on tea and a viewing terrace on the top floor.
Erdoğan said the building will contribute to Rize's tourism. “We will host Guinness representatives later this year. They will make their final decision next spring,” he said.
“This is our new symbol and will definitely promote Rize better. I believe no one will leave without taking a selfie here,” he said. Indeed, locals and visitors already crowd the street in front of the towering “glass” for a photo opportunity.
“Paris has its Eiffel Tower and we have the tea glass now,” Salih Can Keskin, one of them, said. “Looks like this tea has been overbrewed, too strong,” quipped Naciye Arıkan Horoz, another local admiring the building as she pointed to the dark-tinted glass on the upper floors. “But still, it is beautiful,” she added.
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