“Cities must have iconic buildings and structures; this is key to a city’s uniqueness and character,” says Mohandas Saini, Managing Director and CEO of Shapoorji Pallonji International. Akin to how Manhattan is defined by the Empire State Building, Kuala Lumpur by the Petronas Towers and Dubai by the Burj Khalifa. Saini made these remarks on one of his periodic visits to Colombo to review Altair’s progress, scheduled to complete in end-2019.
Shapoorji Pallonji & Co. Ltd., regarded as one of India’s most valuable private companies with a legacy spanning over 150 years, is no stranger to such iconic construction projects. The company was the main contractor of the tallest residential development in India, the 60-story ‘Imperial Towers’ in Toledo Mumbai, completed in 2010. Other iconic projects by global construction giant include the palace of Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said of Oman, Park Towers Dubai, Taj International Hotel Mumbai and the Hilton Riyadh.
Altair, adjudged the best condo in Asia for architectural design at the 2018 Asia Property Awards, was designed by Moshe Safdie, a pre-eminent architect of our time. Safdie’s works can be found across the globe and have become revered regional and national landmarks, including Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, Jerusalem; Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City; United States Institute of Peace Headquarters, Washington DC; and Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort, Singapore.
The unique design of Altair incorporates a 63-story inclined tower connected to the 69-story vertical tower via a strong outrigger at the 39th level. At the height of 240m, the vertical tower is now the tallest residential building in Sri Lanka
The inclined tower utilises structural steel diagonal grids on the exterior of the building giving a permeable surface for expansive floor to ceiling windows as well as acting as a load bearing membrane, minimising the use of interior columns. According to Mohandas Saini, these unique design features led to a particularly complex project from a construction standpoint due to the high degree of precision work required to maintain uniformity that cannot be achieved through traditional fast-tracked methodologies that are commonplace now in high-rise construction in Sri Lanka. Despite the challenges, the superstructure construction work was carried out at a commendable speed with ‘one floor added almost every week’, notes the CEO.
Commenting on the outcome of the superstructure works Saini remarks, “The entire weight distribution was so well engineered, and the workmanship is of such good quality that the level of deviation from original specifications were substantially lower than allowable structural engineering tolerances.”
Structural engineers to this project have been Dubai based Predag Eror of Derby Design, and well known Sri Lankan structural engineer, Deepal Wickremesinghe. Structural elements of the building were independently verified by the University of Moratuwa.
The CEO also says that Shapoorji Pallonji has earned their global reputation not only for their expertise in construction, but for their enduring commitment for the projects they undertake. “We believe in long-term value-added relationships with all stakeholders, often investing our own money in projects we undertake, as we have done so in Altair.” The main shareholder of this $ 250 million project is Kolkata based South City Group, a consortium of firms which has collectively delivered over 150 real estate projects consisting of more than 15 million square feet.
Along with Altair, Shapoorji Pallonji is involved in four other projects in Sri Lanka, including an office building and a water supply project. The CEO remarked that his company is considering engaging in a public-private partnership with the Government with regards to another key project and are open for further investment opportunities in the country.
Speaking of his experience of working in Sri Lanka, Saini says that local engineers have excellent skills and expertise. However, the company had to resort to employing a large foreign workforce due to the shortage of skilled labourers and specialised technicians in the domestic market.March 8, 2017
The management of Altair recently hosted an event at the Hilton to felicitate Moshe Safdie, the Altair project’s architect and architect of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and many other iconic buildings.
Taken from FT.lkMay 13, 2015
Foundation stages of both the Sloping and Vertical Towers in ALTAIR, have been successfully completed with the final raft casting of 3000 M³ being completed on 30th April 2015.
Accordingly, we are firmly on track for timely completion in 2018, the renowned Residential Properties in Sri Lanka.
The Luxury apartment complex offering unique apartments for sale in Colombo, Altair is currently being built in line with international standards.Once completed the iconic building will stand at a staggering 240 meters and will be one of the tallest buildings in Colombo. Altair, on track to be one its kind Luxury Condominiums in Sri Lanka.
Colombo, 11th February 2014: Construction giant Shapoorji Pallonji, the US$3 billion construction company whose contributions to the skylines of planet earth include India’s tallest residential towers
— the Imperial of Mumbai –and several skyscrapers of Dubai, has been appointed the main
contractor for Sri Lanka’s Altair residential twin tower in Colombo.
The contract awarded to Shapoorji Pallonji International operating out of Dubai, covers construction of the foundations, superstructure and civil works and overseeing finishes for the unique diagrid- supported towers of Altair;a 63-storied tower leaning into a 240 metre, 68-storied vertical tower that will be the centrepiece of South Asia’s first promenade development, on the lake front of the Beira.
Construction of the 400 luxury apartment development designed by the international celebrity architect Moshe Safdie is to be completed in 2017.
Announcing the award of the construction contract to Shapoorji Pallonji, Altair President Sales & Marketing Pradeep Moraes said the choice of a company with a 149-year lineage in construction is in keeping with its promoter’s philosophy of bringing together industry leaders in every sphere required for the challenging build of a breath-taking development whose unique design and distinctive structure will firmly place Sri Lanka on the architectural map of the world.
“In terms of building truly iconic high rise structures that redefine concepts of architectural design and push the boundaries of shape, there is probably no match for Shapoorji Pallonji,” Altair Director Jugal Khetawat concurred. “In the Middle East and India in particular, numerous buildings that endure in memory for their aesthetic brilliance have been built by Shapoorji Pallonji.”
Among the many architectural landmarks built by the company are the Park Towers Dubai, the Palace of Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said of Oman, The Taj Intercontinental Hotel Mumbai and the Hilton Riyadh. At 68 stories, Altair will be one of the tallest residential towers in South Asia, equalling the Imperial Towers of Mumbai, which were also built by Shapoorji Pallonji, Mr Khetawat said.
The appointment of Shapoorji Pallonji as main contractor also brings significant synergistic benefits, he disclosed. The owners of Shapoorji Pallonji are the single biggest stakeholders in the Tata Group.
Altair Director Pradeep Sureka added: “In structural terms and in design, Altair will be unique. In Shapoorji Pallonji we have a construction giant with time-tested credentials and creative construction in its DNA.”
In the choice of main contractor, one of the principal considerations was the builder’s ability not only to execute the architect’s design, but to meet the extremely high expectations of the owner and promoter of the development in all aspects, and to deliver all stages contracted to schedule, Mr Sureka said.
Speaking on behalf of Shapoorji Pallonji International, M.D.Saini, the company’s Managing Director
& CEO said: “We are delighted to be awarded the construction of what promises to be another architectural icon, and look forward to partnering a reputed Group such as South City, the promoter of Altair. Building a design of Moshe Safdie, the architect responsible for Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, is an exciting challenge and one that our team is eager to grapple with.”
A Mumbai based business conglomerate with interests in construction, real estate, textiles, engineering goods, home appliances, shipping, publications, power and biotechnology, the Shapoorji Pallonji Group is regarded one of India’s most valuable private enterprises. The Group has an engineering and construction pedigree spanning 149years and a project portfolio covering multi- asset class developments in India, the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Iraq, Kuwait Libya, Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, and Sri Lanka. Shapoorji Pallonji Engineering & Construction has 12 global offices, 16,000 staff, 2,500 engineers and more than 200,000 technicians and labourers.
All Piling work for the Altair development at Sir James Peiris Mawatha, Colombo 2 has been completed and Shoring, entrusted to Sincon International of Singapore, is nearing completion. Among the other leading contractors involved in the project are Derby Design, the Structural Design
Consultants for the famed Dubai Mall – the largest shopping Mall in the World, the 83-storey Ocean Heights Dubai, the National Library and Drama Centre Singapore and the Manila Airport among others; Barker Mohandas – USA, the Vertical Transport specialists whose projects include Visionnaire New York, AlRiyadh Tower Saudi Arabia and Shenyang IFC China; andRWDI Wind Analysis Consultants whose work includesBurj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building, Petronas Towers, Freedom Tower New York at the WTC location and the London Millennium Bridge.December 4, 2013
Altair, the peerless twin-tower luxury condominium development in Colombo 2, has announced the award of its shoring contract to Sincon International, a specialist construction company headquartered in Singapore.
The US$ 2.5 million contract is for a Secant Pile Shoring System consisting of overlapping concrete piles that form a strong and permanent watertight barrier that will support the structure during construction, the company said.
Shoring work has already commenced at the Sir James Peiris Mawatha site, following the completion of piling by San Piling, a sister company of Sanken Lanka. The building’s 283 bored cast in-situ reinforced concrete piles have been socketed into the rock at a depth of 8 to 10 meters.
In selecting the shoring solution, Altair promoter Indocean Developers conformed to best industry practice that itsCalcutta-based owning company South City Group is famed for, top civil engineer K.M. Sathian, President (Projects) said. Threeshoring options– soldier piling, sheet piling and secant wall piling — were considered before opting for secant wall piling, he explained.
Altair selected secant wall piling for an interlocking, completely watertight perimeter with around 475 piles of 880mm diameter bored to a depth of 18 metres. In addition to being significantly stronger than the other options available, the secant wall pile is also a permanent structure unlike the others, and saves up to three months in the excavation and post excavation stages of construction, Mr Sathian said.
The Civil Engineer who managed the construction of the US$ 550 million, nine tower, 66-acre Urbana residential township in Kolkata, Mr Sathian will administer the Altair development. Prior to joining the South City Group, he was associated with several internationally-reputed construction and engineering consultancy firms of the calibre of Philipp Holzmann AG Germany, WSAtkins and GHD Global Pty Limited.
As construction related work keeps to schedule for Altair’s September 2017 completion, prospective and confirmed buyers will have the benefit of a ‘show apartment’ adjacent to the construction site, President Sales & Marketing Pradeep Moraes said. Expected to be ready by January 2014, the show apartment and Altair sales office will replicate the unique Diagrid design of the high-rise and will capture in a precise and exact form, the offerings of this iconic development, he said.
Construction of the structure for the show apartment has been entrusted to Vahana,a Malaysian company which is a subsidiary of Eversendai, the world renowned steel structure specialists who constructed the steel structure of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.
The shoring contractor Sincon has been laying the groundwork for numerous multi-million dollar projects throughout Southeast Asia since 1981. The company is global leader in geotechnical, foundation and civil engineering works, including soil improvement works.
A property development of breath-taking architectural, aesthetic and lifestyle dimensions, Altair, designed by the international celebrity architect Moshe Safdie is expected to become an emblematic Colombo landmark on completion. It is a 240-metre twin tower residential skyscraper comprising of 400 luxury apartments with two-three and four bedroom options, lavish penthouses and presidential suites. Its two tower blocks — a 63-storied tower leaning into a 68-storied vertical tower — will offer spectacular views of the Beira Lake, the Indian Ocean and the city of Colombo from a total of 1.3 million square feet of high-end eco-friendly living space on a two-acre site.