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Skyscraper height records broken regularly   2010-09-06 - Dau tu

Skyscrapers appeared just a short time ago in Vietnam and many height records are rapidly being broken.



Bitexco plans new skyscraper in town

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Real estate developers race to build skyscrapers


Started in 2007, Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower was expected to be the tallest building in Vietnam at 336 metres with 70 stories.


In order to be listed as the tallest skyscraper, Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower must “exceed” the 262.5 metres of Bitexco Financial Tower in HCM City, which started construction in 2005.


Now the number one position is in doubt. Other real estate developers have announced plans to build skyscrapers with more than 100 stories. Kinh Bac Group has asked for the Hanoi People’s Committee’s permission to extend the number the Lotus Hotel project to 100 stories. If approved, the building will stand at 400 metres. Meanwhile, the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) plans to construct a 500 metre building with 102 stories in 2011 on a 25 hectare land plot in Tu Liem District in Hanoi.


Prior to this most recent race to the sky, height records were broken regularly. Bitexco Financial Tower became the tallest building in HCM City after it broke the record set by Saigon Trade Centre (33 stories), Vietcombank Bonday-Ben Thanh Tower (35 stories) and Saigon Pearl (37 stories). In Hanoi, the 34-story Vinaconex’ building (136 metres) was once called the tallest in the capital city. Most recently, Hanoi City Complex is expected to stand at 195 metres (65 stories).


These skyscrapers not only break records, but they also have modern designs, providing luxurious apartments and high-grade shopping areas.


Architects explain that skyscrapers can be seen as symbols of modern cities. According to Dr. Pham Sy Liem, Deputy Chair of Vietnam Construction Federation, the US was the first country with super-high buildings, but the trend has now expanded throughout the world.


More and more height records have been made recently and these buildings polish the image of cities and countries. Petronas, for example, is well known as the tower in Malaysia, while in China people think of Shanghai World Financial Centre.


In Vietnam, high-rise buildings appeared only some ten years ago, and mostly in big cities like Hanoi and HCM City. Nguyen Lan, former Chief Architect of Hanoi, remarked that limited capability to withstand storms and earthquakes was the main reason that skyscrapers appeared so slowly. Recent advances in technology as well as Vietnam’s developing economy have allowed the country to increase building heights gradually..


Dr. Liem added that Vietnam is approaching world record heights. Except Burj Khalifa building in Dubai (828 metres), other buildings in the world have more modest measurements, including Taipei 101 (508 metres), Shanghai World Financial Centre (492 metres).


According to Liem, skyscrapers allow builders to limit the size of land plots and also they assist in upgrading construction technologies. Liem also stressed that building skyscrapers is an effective way for businesses to promote their image.


* Bitexco’s building at No. 45 Ngo Duc Ke street in District 1, HCM City is expected to have the height of 262.5 metres, three ground floors and 68 stories. Most of the area of the building will be leased to finance companies and used as offices. The building will have a heliport, which was manufactured in BuGang City in South Korea and then shipped to Vietnam. Fifteen South Korean engineers will install the heliport.


* Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower is famous in Vietnam not only as the highest building, but also for a bet. In late 2008, a group of veterans and civil engineers sent a letter to Keangnam-Vina Company, the developer of the project, saying that they will give 100 billion dong to the company if it can finish basic construction of the building by the 1000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi in October 2010. If not, then the company must pay 100 billion dong.  For many reasons, however, the bet did not stand.

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