Bitexco Financial Tower: a new Ho Chi Minh City Icon

Bitexco Financial Tower Ho Chi Minh City

Bitexco Financial Tower

At 262 meters, HCM City’s Bitexco Financial Tower is Vietnam’s tallest tower. Designed by New York architect Carlos Zapata Studio and carried forward by AREP of Paris, the design consists of 68 floors of office space, 6 basement floors of parking and a 5-floor retail podium. 100,000 square meters of commercial space was created in the building which opened in October 2010.

The design is inspired by the lotus petal, the national flower of Vietnam and its sleek form has a narrowed footplate and three-dimensional growth as the tower rises. On entering the building a large atrium allows you to view the height of the tower from within.

A Heliport and observation deck are on the 56th floor and a sky lounge on the 55th floor with 360 degree views of Ho Chi Minh City.

In an interesting juxtaposition, the low, red-roofed building in the foreground is “Nha Rong,” the French Customs House, which was the first western-style building built in then Saigon. Ho Chi Minh left Vietnam from the wharf in front of this building on June 5, 1911 on his 28-year odyssey to learn about the outside world and liberate Vietnam.  

Turner International provided construction management services for the 68-story office tower. Click this link to download and view the Turner International Presentation on the BITEXCO Financial Tower, April 21, 2010.

Bitexco Financial Tower: Technical, StructureMag, June 2009.
Structural Challenges Poor soil conditions presented a major challenge to the design of this tall tower; Ho Chi Minh City is on the alluvial plain of the Mekong Delta of the Saigon River. The extremely poor soil conditions are further complicated by a high water table since the building site is one block from the Saigon River. An aggressive schedule and tight site constraints provided additional complexities. Foundations The weight of this tall building required very deep foundations. Comprehensive initial studies and subsurface explorations were performed to form a basis of the foundation design and to estimate foundation settlement. Shannon + Wilson, the international geotechnical consultant, performed a finite element computer analysis of the soil-structure interaction below the tower footprint. The time dependent characteristics of the settlement were studied to understand the ways in which the settlement could be expected to affect the structure and the architectural finishes during and after construction. The maximum predicted settlement was determined to be approximately 4 inches (100 mm).

HCM City. Jan 27, 2011. The Saigon Times Weekly talked to the Bitexco Group’s Chairman Vu Quang Hoi over the idea and difficulties during the project construction of its 68-story Bitexco Financial Tower in HCM City’s center. Five years of construction, putting into service the city’s tallest building with 37,000 square meters of office space and 8,000 square meters of retail space. Excerpts:

Q: How did you get inspired to use the lotus flower in the architectural design for this skyscraper?

Iconic Building Ho Chi Minh City Bitexco TowerA: We belong to a young generation of Vietnamese intending to help lift the country’s stature in the international arena. We are determined to integrate into the world while maintaining our Vietnamese identity. So we have decided to use the image of the lotus bud, considered by many as Vietnam’s national flower, to be the main inspiration for the architectural design.

The tower is completed as Vietnam is on its way to recover from the global financial crisis. This coincides with an increasing demand from multinational business circles for office space.

Any city you can think of has its iconic buildings. For example in Singapore, it’s Marina Bay — an icon for entertainment. In HCM City, it has been my intention to create something that everyone remembers and keeps them reminded of our city.

With help from our international contractors and project partners, we succeeded in reviewing and to some extent rewriting existing building regulations and we set new and stringent benchmarks never-before-seen in Vietnam’s construction industry.

I can say the building symbolizes Vietnam’s integration into the international marketplace. The purpose of BFT is to attract companies wishing to have a foothold and offer their best services in the Vietnamese market. We are looking forward to developing similar projects in the near future, using the same standards for international investors in Vietnam.

We are pressing ahead with a plan to develop a mixed-used project named Ben Thanh Towers in the downtown. As designed, all under one roof are sections for office, residential apartments, and a hotel and retail space. The project has a total investment capital of US$400 million and is scheduled for completion by 2015.

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Click this link to visit The BITEXCO Financial Tower, HCM City, Vietnam

The Financial Tower in Ho Chi Minh City (Bitexco)