Empire City Thu Thiem Unveiled

Empire City, a new development in Ho Chi Minh City’s new Thu Thiem, District 2 area was recently unveiled and the project promises to create a new vision of Ho Chi Minh City.   The Empire City Project is being developed by as a multi-national joint venture of prominent names in real estate development in Vietnam, Singapore and Hong Kong including, Gaw Capital Partners, Keppel Land Ltd., Tien Phuoc Real Estate JSC, and Tran Thai Lands Co., Ltd.

Designed by architect Ole Scheeren, Empire City will be made up of three towers, which will rise up from a “mountain shaped” podium that mimics the topography of Vietnam’s natural landscape.  The podium will feature terraced gardens that are reminiscent of Vietnam’s tiered paddy fields, while the tallest of the towers will swell out near the top, to create an elevated garden, or “sky forest”.

In an interview with the website, Dezeen, architect Scheeren said, “I felt we should think about the future of architecture and of the city itself, and think of ways that nature and human beings can coexist.  But we wanted about ways that nature could not only exist on the ground, but also high up in the sky, so we created a podium like a giant terraced landscape, to anchor three towers to the ground, and this landscape is then pulled up into the sky.  This gives the public access to the incredible height of the building and allows them to really explore the organic forces of nature.”

At a height of 333 meters, Empire City will be taller than any of Ho Chi Minh City’s existing skyscrapers and will be more than 60 meters taller than Bitexco Financial Tower, the city’s current tallest building which stands at 262.5 meters.

The main 88-storey tower, called Empire 88 Tower, will contain apartments, a hotel and retail space, as well as a public observation deck and a top-floor events space named “The Cloud Space”.  The two smaller towers in the complex will contain offices and residential units.

According to architect Scheeren, he sees the project as a symbol for the city’s development future development. “The city’s leaders and planners are trying to find a future for the city that is really positive, that doesn’t simply repeat the same problems that have come with other cities growing and densifying – they’re trying to embed qualities and responsibilities.  They see this project as a very powerful statement of exactly that.”

Scheeren has been based in Asia for over a decade, and has worked on high-rise buildings projects in Bangkok, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore before this Ho Chi Minh City project.  In a past interview with the website, Dezeen, Scheeren said that he liked working in Asia because it had “a certain fearlessness and vision for the future.”

Scheeren said that there is an incredible energy in Ho Chi Minh City and that he expects the city to transform in the next few years.  “It really reminds me of Bangkok many years ago.  If you look at how much construction is taking place, it’s one of those moments where one could think it’s unimaginable.”

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