I was out running errands this weekend and stumbled upon the base of construction for Bitexco Tower, a new 68 story skyscraper in Saigon. I read an article about it recently. The developer's objective is to create a signature address and signature building for the Saigon skyline. The unusual curved construction means that there is 30% less usable floor space than comparable-sized buildings. All the glass is being imported from Europe and shaped in China. Other major components are being manufactured in Korea.
Bitexco Tower's unique shape is supposed to represent a petal from the lotus flower. There will be a helicopter landing pad jutting out from the upper floors, which I don't understand. Not only will the ugly helicopter pad mar the building's otherwise graceful lines, but I've never even seen a helicopter in Vietnam. Ever. Not even on the ground at the airport. And I've lived here nearly four years.
Also, having helicopters and their spinning blades land a few meters away from the vertical face of a skyscraper seems like an invitation to disaster. Go figure.
A shot from the street in front of the building.
Artist rendering of the finished product. Note the helicopter.