Bitexco Financial Tower – Ho Chi Minh City Skyscraper

Bitexco Financial Tower, Ho Chi Minh City Skyscraper, Vietnamese Building

Bitexco Financial Tower, Vietnam : Ho Chi Minh City Skyscraper

HCM Tower Building, Vietnam – design by AREP Architects

2 May 2011

Bitexco Financial Tower Ho Chi Minh City

Architects: AREP

Financial Tower Ho Chi Minh City

The BITEXCO Financial Tower is an iconic symbol of the development of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s economic capital. Housing offices and businesses, the tower asserts its identity through its height and its geometry of taut curves rising up from the dense city below. Located in the heart of the city near the river Saigon, the tower stands at the intersection of three streets (Hai Trieu, Ho Tung Mau and Ngo Duc Ke).

Bitexco Financial Tower Bitexco Financial Tower Ho Chi Minh City Ho Chi Minh City Skyscraper
pictures : BITEXCO Architectes : JM. Duthilleul, E. Tricaud

Shaped like a huge leaf curled in on itself and opening out to the sky, the tower evokes both nature and traditional architecture and objects made from assembled or woven plant material. The tower’s complex geometry consists of inclined cylinders linked together by truncated cones. The sculptural quality of the tower is heightened at night by white lighting that emphasizes the sheer vertical of the west façade, the pinnacle of the tower and the underside of the helipad (helicopter platform) which juts out by 25 metres.

Bitexco Financial Tower Bitexco Financial Tower Ho Chi Minh City Ho Chi Minh City Skyscraper Bitexco Financial Tower Vietnam
pictures : AREP / Photographe : T. Chapuis Architectes : JM. Duthilleul, E. Tricaud

The 68-storey tower stands on a base whose first five floors house a shopping mall, conference facilities and restaurants.The ground floor is extended by an esplanade and terraces planted with trees. Most of the tower itself is given over to offices. The upper part above the helipad comprises 18 prestige floors, a panoramic bar and a VIP restaurant.

The offices are served by double-deck lifts inside the tower’s central core. They are controlled by a grouped call system to minimize waiting time. An express service runs from the ground floor to the public and VIP levels on the 50th floor, where visitors enjoy an incomparable view over the city and the river.

Bitexco Financial Tower Bitexco Financial Tower Ho Chi Minh City Ho Chi Minh City Skyscraper Bitexco Financial Tower Vietnam
pictures : AREP / Photographe : T. Chapuis Architectes : JM. Duthilleul, E. Tricaud

The technical rooms are on the 29th and 30th floors and at the top of the tower. Cooling towers are located above the shopping mall and on several levels of the basement, where the generators and oil and water tanks are also housed.

The glass panels on the façades incorporate screen-printed motifs (varying in density according to their position) which soften glare and provide protection from the sun. Inside, wooden louvred shutters filter the light in the upper and lower parts of the windows. This interplay of materials again echoes the traditional Vietnamese art of weaving and assembling natural materials. The construction of the BITEXCO Financial Tower involved an international design team. They have created a pioneering building and a landmark for today’s Vietnam.

Bitexco Financial Tower Bitexco Financial Tower Ho Chi Minh City Ho Chi Minh City Skyscraper Bitexco Financial Tower Vietnam
pictures : AREP / Photographe : T. Chapuis Architectes : JM. Duthilleul, E. Tricaud

Bitexco Financial Tower – Building Information

Contracting owner: BITEXCOLAND

Project management:
– AREP Ville (prime contractor) / É. Tricaud. Team: É. Dussiot (project manager), A. Murray (architect, project leader), C. Lakeman, A. Vaz Correa
– Carlos Zapata Studio (concept architect)

AREP subcontractors:

ID Associés (Gilles Leborgne, interior architecture), LERA (tower structure), DSA (mechanics, electricity, fluids), Barker+Mohandas (lifts), PAEC (base structure), ID Associés (interior architecture), VNCC (local architect), ARCORA (façade technical research), Meinhardt (façade technical research)

Assistance to contracting owner

Turner International (project management, scheduling control, coordination), DLS (economist)

Firms: Delta (foundations, substructure), Hyundaï (main structure), Eagon (façade), Otis (lifts), Prime (base interior), MTIC (core tower interior)

Project launch: 2006
Delivery: end of 2010
Surface area: 95,000 sqm
Total cost: €130 million

Bitexco Financial Tower Vietnam
picture : AREP / photo. A. Murray Architectes : JM. Duthilleul, E. Tricaud

International team
The project to build Vietnam’s first skyscraper draws on regional and international expertise.
AREP, based in Paris, is the prime contractor overseeing a project management team comprising firms from the USA (Carlos Zapata Studio, concept architect; LERA, structural design), the UK (DSA, technical research – fluids) and China, along with a Vietnamese architectural and engineering firm.

The design work was structured around workshops bringing together teams in Paris, New York and Hanoi, before building began in Ho Chi Minh City.
As no local standards existed for the construction of a skyscraper, the team based its project design on the International Building Code (IBC).

Bitexco Financial Tower Bitexco Financial Tower Ho Chi Minh City Ho Chi Minh City Skyscraper
pictures : AREP / Photographe : T. Chapuis Architectes : JM. Duthilleul, E. Tricaud

Geometric design

The tower’s coherent geometric design was crucial to the feasibility of its sculptural form, rendered by different types of glass units. The shell of a standard level module is formed by inclined cylinders. Curved glass is used in the four cylinders marking the curvature of the façade at the four points of the compass. Flat glass is used in segments in the side cylinders. The cylinders are linked by joining panels.

The façade leans outwards up to the 22nd floor, creating an overhang. Above this floor it leans inwards as the tower narrows towards its top. Below the helipad is a projecting conical structure of curved glass, while the part of the tower above the helipad is cut away by an inclined cylinder section of flat glass segments.

Address: Bitexco Financial Tower, 45 Ngo Duc Ke Street, District 1, Ho-Chi-Minh-Ville, Vietnam

Bitexco Financial Tower – Ho Chi Minh City Skyscraper, Vietnam images / information from AREP Architects


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