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Architect of Empire City unveiled

Released at: 14:01, 17/11/2017

Architect of Empire City unveiled

Photo: Empire City

HCMC project the latest from German architect Ole Scheeren.

by Linh San

The architect behind Empire City, one of Asia’s most recognizable buildings, has unveiled his plans for the new skyscraper, which he hopes will change the face of Ho Chi Minh City.

Featuring an observation deck and an urban garden hundreds of feet above the ground, the project is German architect Ole Scheeren’s latest, according to CNN, which was given an exclusive first look.

According to Mr. Scheeren, the structure is likely to stand out from its urban surroundings and was inspired by Vietnam’s geography. He explained that his design is intended to blend in with its tropical environment. “We want to make the earth touch the sky and vice versa - to mirror (the) nature on the ground into the sky and create a very lyrical moment for the building,” he said in a phone interview with CNN. “We’re looking at developing a very intense network of public spaces - on the ground, via the podium, but also lifting part of this urban energy up into the sky.”

Empire City is located on a prime 14.6-ha waterfront site in the Thu Thiem New Urban Area, the future CBD of Ho Chi Minh City. Upon completion, the development will comprise about 3,000 premium residential apartments, office and retail properties, as well as an 86-story integrated mixed-use tower complex. It is being developed by a consortium of developers, including Keppel Land Singapore, Gaw Capital Partner Hong Kong, Tien Phuoc, and the Tran Thai Group.

One of Empire City's most eye-catching features, the so-called “Sky Forest”, is an urban garden protruding from the building’s upper reaches. The building’s podium - a base from which its three towers emerge - is expected to host water features and an abundance of plant life.

Having worked in Asia for the last two decades, Mr. Scheeren has been responsible for a number of the continent’s best-known buildings. As a partner and director of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), he designed landmarks such as Beijing’s CCTV Headquarters before launching his own firm.

Since founding Büro Ole Scheeren in 2010, the 46-year-old has completed the MahaNakhon, which became Thailand’s tallest building upon opening last year, and the Interlace in Singapore, which was named World Building of the Year in 2015. But Empire City marks his first project in Vietnam, a country that he described as having an “incredible energy”.

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