Pacific nation plans world's tallest building
By Chris Sleight30 March 2012
The Pacific nation of Pitvalu has unveiled plans for the world's tallest building. The proposed 'Two Mile Tower' will be built in the capital of Bauarmoa and will provide enough residential and office space for the country's entire population, as well as tourist attractions including the world's first eight-star hotel.
A special website for Two Mile Tower went live on the morning of April 1. Click here for more details.
Speaking at the unveiling of the plans, Pitvalian prime minister Stephen Harris said, "Not only will Two Mile Tower provide a substantial improvement in the standard of living for the population of Pitvalu, it will also give an enormous boost to the country's tourism industry. With its rugged coasts, bracing pacific winds and striking volcanic landscape, Pitvalu has the potential to become a tourist destination to rival the resorts of the Caribbean. This project will put Pitvalu on the map in every sense."
As the name suggests, the proposed skyscraper will be 2 miles (3220 m) tall, which would make it by far the world's tallest building. The current record holder is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE, at 830 m. However, this is expected to be surpassed by the 1000 m+ Kingdom Tower in Jedddah, Saudi Arabia, which is due for completion in 2017.
Plans for Two Mile Tower have been drawn-up by renowned high-rise architect David Murray, who said, "The hard volcanic rock of Pitvalu makes it one of the few sites in the world where this type of tower would be possible. With a total floor area of about 1.5 million m2, the structure will be more than adequate to house the island's population of 7000 people, with more than enough space left over for commercial, retail and tourism needs."
Construction is expected to take 12 years and the cost of the tower has been put at US$ 6.45 billion, about 150 times Pitvalu's GDP. Commenting on this apparent lack of financial feasibility, prime minister Harris said, "Two Mile Tower is an attractive investment opportunity, and we are confident of covering the costs with a combination of sovereign debt and private investment. We have had expressions of interest from a series of sovereign wealth funds that have more money than they know what to do with. Several international banks are also interested, as they recognise a project of this stature is a much better idea than lending to small businesses and homeowners in their domestic markets."
Provisional plans for the tower include the world's first eight-star hotel, and Mr Murray said this would offer an unprecedented level of luxury for the world's super-rich. "The design includes a private helicopter landing pad for each of the 20 suites, each of which will be fully staffed with butlers, maids and a Michelin-starred chef," he said.
However, some have questioned Pitvalu's viability as a tourist location due to its remoteness. It is located close to the equator and international date line, with the nearest major land mass being Papua New Guinea, some 3500 km to the west. The island has no airport, the normal access being by commercial freighter from Melbourne, Australia, which takes about six days.
Commenting on this issue, prime minster Harris said, "Once we have the tower built, we will look at options for connectivity. The country's mountainous terrain will make this a challenge, and it is likely we will have to reclaim part of the sea - just like Hong Kong did - to build an airport. If things go to plan we should be accepting international flights by 2032."