According to the Bible, construction of the Tower of Babel was never completed. However, a Korean firm has successfully finished building a modern version of the Babel Tower in Singapore ― the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.
The Singaporean landmark, built by Korea’s Ssangyong Engineering Construction, was given the nickname by its world-famous architect Moshe Safdie, well known for his innovative designs.
“When I checked the construction site, one tower was built by Chinese workers and another tower was built by a Bangladeshi team. It looked like the Tower of Babel,’’ Safdie said during a press meeting held in Seoul last week.
“It would be difficult but Ssangyong coordinated and managed the workers to complete the hotel within the time constraints,’’ he noted.
At the top of the new “Tower of Babel,’’ which is composed of three buildings with the height of up to 200 meters, there is a paradise sky park equipped with three swimming pools, an observation deck, a spa, restaurants and gardens.
Another moniker of the 55-story luxury hotel with 2,511 rooms is the contemporary Tower of Pisa because the eastern building of Marina Bay Sands Hotel stands at an angle of 52 degrees. In comparison, the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy tilts at an angle of 5.5 degrees.
Opening midway through 2010, the notable buildings ordered by U.S.-based hotel and casino giant Sands Group has already emerged as one of top tourist attraction in the city state with legions of visitors lining up to visit the sky park despite relatively high admission fees.
“Even global top-tier constructors contended that this hotel is simply impossible to construct due to its unique structure and format. But we did it to silence the critics,’’ a Ssangyong official said.
“In addition, experts projected that the construction would take around four years. Yet, we finished in just 27 months and changed the skyline of Singapore. We think we have shown our technological prowess,’’ he added.
Safdie concurs regarding Ssangyong’s impressive feat.
“I thought it couldn’t be done in 27 months. Then, Ssangyong came along with radical ways of constructing and proposed innovative ways. Ssangyong completed it on time and I was very satisfied,’’ Safdie said.
He added that top executives of the Sands Group were initially skeptical about some aspects of the structures, particularly the sky park but they are currently very thankful to him and Ssangyong.
One of the tallest orders was to connect the concaved east leg with the west leg of the building on the 23rd floor. Ssangyong devised a unique and sophisticated solution dubbed the post-tension technology to successfully wrap up the project.
The Korean contractor also took advantage of trusses to help the whole structure buttress the great vertical loads imposed by the bulky upper structures, including the scenic sky park.
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