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|April 6th, 2009, 11:04 AM||#1|
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GUJARAT INT'l FINANCE TEC-CITY (GIFT) | Nāga (Snake) Towers | 230m | 54 fl x 2 | App
Nāga (Snake) Towers -- Block Package O -- Gujarat International Finance Tec-City, Gandhinagar, India
Described as the "Guardians of the City", the 54-story Nāga Towers, designed as a modern Indian architectural interpretation the cherished Indian cultural symbol of the Nāga (snake) and is is just one of the many towers coming up in India's largest greenfield megaproject, the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT).
As fitting a tower designed to push the boundaries of futurist Indian architecture, great care and thought has been put into the symbolism and design of these commercial towers as in India's traditional architecture.
It will be among the tallest and most striking towers in GIFT's 80+ skyscraper skyline.
First, some background on the GIFT project:
Located at Gandhinagar, the capital city of the über-industrial Indian state of Gujarat, and nearby the state's commercial capital of Ahmedabad, the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City will be one of the world's largest and most modern financial hubs.
From its already lofty original development goals, GIFT has since grown manifold to literally an entire city's central business district that will be larger than Paris's La Defense, Tokyo's Shinjuku, London's Dockyards and Shanghai's Pudong financial districts. It will house over a million people with millions more commuting there daily.
Well placed between the political and commercial capitals of Gujarat, GIFT is a public-private partnership basically designed to kick Mumbai in the FDI balls and establish itself as a world player. It will is India's first major supertall Central Business District project that is designed to be the focal point of both the world's and India's booming financial services market by providing companies with all those things Mumbai is still developing: comprehensive infrastructure, power, verticalized office space, and a well designed, planned and expandable urban form. Its strong proximity and infrastructure connectivity with Mumbai ensures that mutually beneficial development occurs between the two metros.
^ An overhead view of the new GIFT CBD.
The scale of GIFT is singularly massive, unparalleled in the world except a handfull of Dubai megaprojects, none of those which can hold a candle to GIFT's goals of economic sustainability, integration and scalability.
Gujarat International Finance Tec-City will have 312 tall buildings — the tallest being the signature Diamond Tower with 87 floors; another 40 buildings with more than 50 floors and many more with 24 plus floors of height. The entire project is not only fully approved but already completely sold out due to insane demand. Construction will begin later this year.
For more information on GIFT as a whole, please check out the GIFT thread in General Urban Developments forum for a summary of the main developments and the GIFT thread in the SSC India forum for more detailed discussions.
In order to explain the relevance of the Nāga Towers' design, one must first explain the Symbolism attached to the Nāga itself.
The Nāga, or snake, plays an integral part of India's cultural ethos, philosophies, traditions and religions. Reverence of the Nāga as the the anthropomorphic symbol of spiritual truth and energy dates back to the dawn of civilization in India and has spread throughout Asia with the spread of Hindu and Buddhist symbols.
The symbolism attached to the Nāga is extensive. The coiled body of the serpent rising represents the symbolic rising of the Kundalini, or spiritual energy, and the many heads represent a manifold seemingly disparate perceptions of reality actually unified in form, and the the hooded head represents the mastery emotion and materialism.
In Indian architecture, as well as in the Hindu and Buddhist architecture of southeast Asia, its influence of the Nāga on art and architecture can be seen back from its Harappan-Saraswati cities and to the present day. It is this powerful symbol of the Nāga that has been re-interpreted in commercial-use Nāga Towers.
^ Nāga Towers from above
Noting the tremendous "recall value [of the Nāga] as a part of popular culture" and Indian architecture, the designers of GIFT decided that a modern interpretation on this ancient symbol would befit such a far-reaching project.
The snakelike design is evident even from a cursory look at the building. According to ECADI architects, "the springing and leaping action of the snake is reflected in the form of the buildings in a symbolic indication of awareness and vitality." The inspiration doesn't end there, as the Nāga "concept of duality and contradiction is represented in the double motif that eventually join to make one building."
In Indian and Southeast Asian architecture, the statue of the Nāga is placed flanking the entryways of the city, the temple and the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, symbolically guarding the approach to a higher spiritual truth. Taking a cue from this, the Nāga Towers are directly situated on the Dream River waterfront, the dominating the main water approaches to the CBD.
^ The GIFT skyline, with Nāga Towers on the far left.
The towers will be commercial in use and rise to a maximum height of 230 meters and 54 stories tall. Its total above-ground and below-ground areas are 4,704,000 and 1,927,500 sq ft respectively and will be developed as Block Package O in the master plan.
The tower has been completely approved by all governing and oversight bodies and will be constructed in the first phase of the project. Construction is expected to begin later this year, but may be put on hold if more redesigns/upscaling of the project is in the offing.
Thanks to the Indian Skyscraper Blog and the many SSC India members for help with the writeup and all the research!