The mixed use project Altitude (earlier known as 96 Iconic Tower) in Colombo, Sri Lanka is a structure dedicated to the winners of 1996 Cricket World Cup. Designed by Indian architect Reza Kabul of ARK Reza Kabul Architects Pvt. Ltd, it stands impressive 383m tall.
Victories have been commemorated since the start of time, and landmarks have been established to celebrate the achievements. When Shreepati’s Edifice Limited discussed the idea of Altitude, it was not about the design of a building; it was the creation of a landmark structure commemorating the victory of the 1996 Cricket World Cup and Sri Lanka itself. To design a structure that represented not just the triumph of the cricketers, but also of the country and its residents was a challenge that ARK Reza Kabul Architects love to undertake. Over the last three decades they have successfully executed projects ranging from master plans and townships, to industrial, hospitality, commercial, institutional, educational, and residential segments, spread internationally in United States, India, Mauritius, United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Bhutan, and Nairobi.
The design of Altitude grew organically: the two key elements of the sport, the bat and the ball, come together in the facade of the structure to form an icon of achievement: a trophy. Though Altitude appears to be a structure dictated by the form, the base of our design philosophy is focused on functionality, which we at ARK consider utmost important. With the passion for extraordinary achievement backed by a strong ambition; Altitude is envisaged by Ar. Reza Kabul as the iconic structure that shall mark Sri Lanka’s presence on the world map of high-rises.
The stunning 383-meter-tall mixed-use development has various uses and users stacked vertically, each provided with individual and independent functioning. Along with premium residences, the tower incorporates retail spaces, commercial offices, public entertainment zones, an indoor cricket academy, a 360-degree observatory, and a specialty restaurant.
The Basement Level is a covered parking lot that houses the lift lobby for commercial floors, theatre and the restaurant. The Lower Ground Level is also a covered parking lot with a vehicular drop off point on the South side of the tower and the ticket counter for the 360° Observatory (Level 92) and Sri Lankan Cricket Legends Museum (Level 93).
Retail outlets are spread over an area of 4483sqm on the Ground Level along with an entrance lobby on the East side for the restaurant, theater and escalators going down to the 360° Observatory Ticket Counter. On the North side of the plot, a ramp and a stairway leads to a 4.5m level that acts as a separate entry for the residents. The lobby consists of four elevators for the residents and two elevators for domestic help, leading to the residential lobby at Level 6. A 10m wide vehicular ramp leads the residents to the parking levels (Level 6 to Level 12).
Level 1 to Level 3 also consist of retail outlets that spread over an area of 3783sqm. Six elevators cater to the retail and theater levels. 18 escalators provide smooth circulation in the retail area. Level 3 hosts the 360° Observatory exit.
A 6 screen multiplex with a seating capacity of 1420 people is spread across Level 4. Separate elevators are provided for the night show exit. Level 5 A & B are allocated commercial spaces for office use with four offices of 770sqm each.
Level 6 is a covered parking for the residents with vehicular drop off point and the residential lobby. The level hosts nine elevators for residents and their guests, and three elevators in the service core for domestic helpers. Residents’ parking is located between Level 7 to Level 12.
Standing at 383m, Altitude is 231m taller than the current tallest World Trade Center in Sri Lanka.
Level 13, 20, 35, 50, 65, 78, 91 are designed as service floor with meter rooms, break-pressure tanks, and pumps. The entertainment deck with an updated library, indoor games, swimming pool, business center, jogging track, toddler’s area, and outdoor play area, are situated on Level 14.
Level 15 to Level 49 host eight residential apartments per floor of either 3-BHK or 4 BHK and Level 51 to Level 64 host eight residential apartments per floor of 4-BHK. Level 67 to Level 90 host four residential penthouse apartments per floor of 4-BHK. The entertainment deck with lounge and coffee shop, gymnasium, spa, out-door yoga and sky decks is situated on Level 66.
The observatory designed for Altitude at 350 meter high has already made its mark in the list of Worlds Highest Observation Decks released by the Council of Tall Building and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). The open spaces adjoining the iconic structure incorporate waterfront promenades, pedestrian plazas and musical fountains.
Despite the various uses and users stacked vertically, occupants and functions have been provided ind ividual and independent functioning. Designated parking areas, different access elevators and lobbies, and independent services ensure minimal overlap between the different users. Altitude has a total of 50 elevators, including two double-decker elevators for the observatory with speeds varying from 4m/s to 8 m/s.
“Altitude shall be to Sri Lanka, what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris and the Pyramids are to Giza; a must-visit landmark that defines the city. A visit to Sri Lanka shall remain incomplete without experiencing the magnificence of Altitude.”
— Ar. Reza Kabul.
ARK believes that the infrastructure of a high-rise should enable it to be self-sufficient in terms of its basic energy requirements. The idea behind using alternate energy sources is to make the project self-sustainable. In fact, in case the structure is capable to generate additional units, the advantage can be passed on to the smaller establishments in the vicinity or to the grid itself. Wind turbines have been incorporated and the glass dome that houses the indoor cricket academy has photovoltaic cells which also generate electricity. The multi-story parking façade and natural atmospheric pressure are proposed to be used to lower the temperature of the water for the air-conditioning plant instead of using large fans.
Revised & Reprinted from Buildotech Dec. 2015 issue