The tower’s facade panels will form parapets above its dome-shaped roof and provide protection to the sky bar’s large terrace. Courtesy of Atkins and Lavenue Investment Corporation
The 36-story tower will be located in close proximity to existing landmarks in downtown Ho Chi Minh City.
January 21, 2014—A new 36-story mixed-use tower planned for a prime site in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, will be a standout thanks to its sleek, curved facade that is designed to recall the beauty, grace, and elegance of Vietnam’s national flower—the lotus.
The Lavenue Crown Hotel, as the project is known, will be located at the intersection of Hai Da Trung Street and Le Duan Boulevard, near several significant existing landmarks—including Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica, the Gustave Eiffel-designed Saigon Central Post Office, and the French consulate. The 160 m tall tower and an adjacent six-story podium structure, also planned as part of the project, will have a combined gross floor area of 66,000 m2. The podium will have more than 5,000 m2 of space for a boutique mall, while the tower will house retail space, a five-star hotel operated by Hong Kong-based luxury hotel group Langham, serviced apartments, and a rooftop sky bar.
Atkins, an international design, engineering, and project management firm headquartered in London, designed the tower at the request of Lavenue Investment Corporation—a consortium of three real estate investment firms that will own the building. A number of other architecture firms had previously attempted the project but did not satisfy the client’s expectations, said Ian Milne, the senior design director for Atkins in Hong Kong, in written responses to questions posed by Civil Engineering online. “Atkins was presumably approached to do the work as a result of its reputation in designing some of the world’s most important hotels,” Milne said. “The client requested that this tower be an iconic hotel [and] a signature landmark in the city, like the Atkins-designed Burj al Arab in Dubai.”
The Lavenue Crown Hotel will be located in downtown Ho Chi
Minh City, Vietnam, near several significant existing landmarks,
including the Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica. Courtesy of Atkins
and Lavenue Investment Corporation
Following a great deal of research, Atkins developed several tower designs that reflected different aspects of Vietnam culture. The client ultimately selected the one inspired by the lotus flower in anticipation of it becoming an iconic landmark along Ho Chi Minh City’s developing skyline. “The city of Ho Chi Minh City has a number of prestigious hotels, but given the site’s [proximity to existing landmarks], this is an ideal location for a new signature hotel for the whole city,” Milne said. Atkins is providing concept design, schematic design, design development, tender documentation, review of local architects’ design documentation, and site review for the project. Arup, an engineering firm also headquartered in London, is the civil and structural engineering design consultant on the project.
The beauty of the lotus flower will be captured in the tower’s four glass facade panels, which will extend upward to form parapets around the building’s dome-shaped glass roof and provide protection to the rooftop bar’s large terrace. Mimicking the flower’s delicate petals, the panels will be rounded at the top. Near the street level, the facades will curve out and upward to form a sweeping canopies over the tower’s main entrance and smaller overhangs on other sides of the building. “The canopy is both an expression of the lotus flower and a reference to the long, elegant áo dài dresses that ladies in Vietnam wear on formal occasions,” Milne said.
The canopy’s gracefulness will be accentuated by the fact that it will appear to float in midair. However, a cantilevering steel structure embedded within the upper and lower layers of the glass facade will actually support the canopy. A concealed drainage system at the canopy’s lower tip will send rainwater discreetly to the adjacent podium structure, obviating the need for a bulky gutter system. “Our challenge was to design a tower with a grand entrance on a tightly constrained site,” Milne said in a December 2013 press release. “Our design delivers this, along with a generous public space and drop-off area while achieving the best building shape to maximize the total gross floor area.”
The design is awaiting government approval, and construction is expected to commence later this year, according to the project website. Completion is anticipated in 2017. “The tower, once completed, will become one of the most important urban landmarks—[reflecting] the contemporary, vibrant, and dynamic nature of Ho Chi Minh City,” said Quang Tri Mai, the chief representative in Vietnam for Atkins, in the release.