Archive | June, 2009

Construction update – June 2009

30 Jun

VTN Tower

29 Jun
Designed by Mooyoung A&E.

Location: Hanoi.

Some architecture models from Aedas

28 Jun

VNPT Tower Development
Location: Hanoi.
Total GFA: 120,000 sq.m

Giang Vo Mixed-use Development
Location: Hanoi
Total GFA: 595,000 sq.m

Satra Complex Building Development
Location: Hochiminh City.

Savico Tower Development
Total GFA: 42,770 sq.m
Completion Year: 2011.

About Aedas

Aedas creates the best architectural design solutions from our 40 offices around the globe. We provide international expertise with innate knowledge and understanding of local cultures. Our designers are committed to contribute and lead in the societies we design for. We have a holistic approach to sustainability which shows our care not only for the built environment but also for the people we work with and the societies we live and work within.

Aedas global network provides consultancy services in architecture, interior design, masterplanning, landscape, urban design and building consultancy in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. Our commitment and tenacity to improve the natural and built environment are reflected in our designs for all building types including civic, education, health, transport, commercial, residential and industrial buildings.

For further information please contact:

Aedas Architects Limited
Office: 5-8 Hardwick Street, London, EC1R 4RG, UK

Resort villas sell like hot cakes

28 Jun
Buying apartments in high-end resorts and hotels has become big business in Viet Nam. Investments usually show quick profits for wealthy investors.

Nam Hai beach resort in central Quang Nam Province was one of the first resorts to develop the business. The resort is divided into a 60-room hotel and 40 villas. Thirty-six of the villas were sold to secondary investors. Prices have tripled in five years.

Indochina Capital’s soon-to-opened Hyatt Regency Resort&Spa in Non Nuoc beach, central Da Nang which includes a 200-room hotel, 174 apartments and 27 villas. The apartments and villas are being sold to investors for between $180,000 to $1.7 million.

Peter Ryder, general director of Indochina Capital, said his company has four projects under construction in Quang Nam and Da Nang – Nam Hai and Montgomerie Links Viet Nam, Riverside Tower and Hyatt Regency Da Nang Resort&Spa.

In the next three years, Indochina Capital will invest another $250 million in three more resorts in Quang Nam and Da Nang.

Selling apartments in resorts has quickly grown in other central region resorts, from Da Nang to Phu Yen Province. In Da Nang and Hoi An alone, villas in about 10 luxury resorts are up for sale.

Close to Hyatt Regency Resort&Spa is the Olalani Resort, which will contain three luxury villas, 88 high-end apartments and a 16-room hotel.

The Fusion Alya project has 19 pool-view villas, 11 sea-view villas and 57 apartments which are being sold from $95,000 to $280,000 per unit.

In southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, many resort projects are under construction and many villas and apartments will be set aside for sale.

Business difficulties

Vegas Beach Club Resort, owned by the Magnum group, failed to sell villas to secondary investors at the asking price of $175,000 per unit. The resort was later sold to new investor Kingdom Hotel Investments.

Last year, Kingdom Hotel Investments also failed to attract buyers with prices ranging from $285,000 to $1 million per unit, but the market was depressed.

However, failure does not put off investors. They believe the rising economy will help generate a new middle class who will want to own high-end property.

The Sanctuary Resort in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province wants to sell 90 per cent of its villas. David Clarkin, general director of Refico group, said the project continued to attract customers in HCM City.

According to Micheal Piro, marketing director of Indochina Land, those who buy villas at the Hyatt Regency Residences can use them for holidays for a few weeks a year then let them out using management companies.

Ho Quang Dung, deputy general director of Thien Thai Tourism and Hotels, said Furama pleged that it would rent villas back from those who bought in Ariyana projects.

According to research by CB Rechard Ellis, ideal locations for resorts include Nha Trang, Mui Ne, Da Nang, Hoi An and Lang Co.

However, Matthew Powell, Ha Noi-branch director of Savills, said the price of real estate in resorts in Da Nang was lower than other resorts in the southeast Asian region.

This was mostly due to a lack of comprehensive infrastructure.

Source: VNS

Saigon Paragon

27 Jun

Grand Opening Ceremony: June 27th, 2009.

With 7,500 sq.m, Saigon Paragon is located in an International Trading and Financial Center at Nam Saigon. This is a 4,000 sq.m comfort entertainment, 9000sq.m office for lease and 3,000 sq.m for holding comference. In detail, the property comprise 10 floors in which 1-4 floor is fashion & beauty, digital lifestyle, art & life; 5-floor is entertainment space, 6-9 floor is space for every significant project and 10-floor is for the art of dining. This also the first luxury shopping malls at Nam Saigon and will be opened on first quarter of 2008.


Saigon Paragon is located in the new urban center, Saigon South, which is considered to be the most rapidly developing location in Vietnam. Saigon Paragon, for which transportation system will become full operational with one year, is becoming a new cultural and economic center in HCMC. It is very easy to reach to Saigon Paragon from the city center. It takes only 10 minutes to travel from Ben Thanh Market across Kenh Te Bridge to Saigon South. From District 5, one need only cross the Nguyen Tri Phuong Bridge. Finally, the Phu My Bridge, connecting district 2 to district 7, will provide a final gateway to the paragon. It will begin construction at the end of year.

Saigon Paragon provides its own unique fresh atmosphere and sense of tranquility without making one feel out of place or stuffy. Saigon Paragon always retains its ebullience and sense of development.


An architectural project created by the well-known Japanese architectural firm, Katsuki Design, the Paragon is a new masterpiece. Embracing the simple and clean elegance of the time-honored, Paragon is an oasis of green trees and fresh air breezeway. This tropical oasis provides a calming and perfectly balanced environment for both business and pleasure.

Paragon is a magnificent, composite structure created by the intelligent combination of boldness, invention, labor and investment. This analogy, however, is sorely lacking because it does not consider the value and exquisite beauty of the land on which it has been showcased.

Architecture of Saigon Paragon is classically designed to bring together all of the most well-known trademarks of fashion, cosmetic, health care, and business. The dynamic economic group of Vietnam will find it the ideal location for their continued development and expansion.

Phu My Hung, a glimpse of the bright future of Saigon South to come, has now added an attractive economic and trading paradise with the presence of Paragon Saigon.


Inspect the inner workings of the modern art world where it meets the stamp and seal of the antique European Palace. The latest technological conveniences come together with an elegant and traditional style that can satisfy even the most discriminating taste. Success is assured in this perfect Paragon of both function and design. And it is certain that with a firm base of business, your dreams and aspirations will be more readily realized.

Paragon Corporation
Unit 701, 7th Floor, Saigon Paragon Building
3 Nguyen Luong Bang, Tan Phu Ward, Dist. 7, HCMC
Tel: 84-8-54135 165 – Fax: 84-8-54135 166

HCM City apartment market: second wave of big sales kick-off

25 Jun
Following the big sale campaign earlier this year, when the prices of apartments were lowered by 30-50 percent, real estate developers have just kicked off a new big sale campaign.

On June 24, more than 100 apartments of Blue Sapphire project in Binh Phu new urban area in district 6 were officially put on sale. The starting price of 12.9 million dong per square metre announced by the investor really surprised many people, because it is ‘soft’ compared to the prices of apartments in other projects in the same district. Cooperation between the investor and commercial banks allows buyers to borrow up to 70 percent of the values of apartments for 15 years.

Three days ago, on June 21, the investor of Babylon Residence project in Thu Duc district marketed 100 apartments in the first phase, announcing the sale price of 14.5 million dong per square metre, which also caught the attention of the public.

Vo Dinh and Dat Xanh Real Estate Companies have announced 3 percent discounts for all buyers, while offering the gift of an apartment in the project to the winner of a lucky draw to be organised for the first 100 clients.

The apartments in the projects in Song Than area in Binh Duong province, neighbouring HCM City, have even softer prices, at just 9-10 million dong per square metre.

Not only medium-class apartment investors, but high-class apartment investors also are considering undertaking reasonable marketing campaigns, preparing for the new sale campaign.

As a pioneer in offering high-grade apartments at reasonable prices, Hoang Anh Gia Lai Housing Development Company now plans to launch products priced at 18 million dong per square metre.

The company said that the price frame may also be applied to An Tien project in Nam Saigon area and Hoang Anh Incomex project in district 7.

Meanwhile, many real estate developers have decided to market apartments in different sale campaigns, offering different price frames. Most of the product series have the lowest price at 25 million dong per square metre.

Him Lam Land Company plans to launch Him Lam Riverside apartments in July at 27 million dong per square metre. Penthouses are expected to be more expensive, at 32 million dong per square metre.

Analysts say that real estate developers, seeing the strong cash flow from the stock market to the real estate market, are all planning to launch new products onto the market.

Deputy General Director of Dat Xanh Real Estate Company Nguyen Khanh Hung said that the apartment market will witness the massive launch of products in the time to come, though he does not think that the massive supply will lead to indigestion. Hung said that products with attractive and affordable prices always have higher liquidity than luxury products with high sale prices.

Hung said that apartments have seen prices returning to their actual values after a long time of being pushed to sky-high levels. This can be seen in the greater volume of projects priced at below 15 million per square metre which have been put on sale.

Source: VNE

Ana Mandara Beach Resort & Spa Hue

25 Jun

Set on an isolated beach a scenic 15km drive from Hue, Ana Mandara beach Resort & Spa Hue is putting Thuan An Beach firmly on the international tourist map. Opening early 2010, Ana mandara promises a lot. The impressive lobby opens out towards the sea with an infinity lotus pool lying in between. The grounds contain lush, green tropical gardens and coconut palms.

All rooms offer great views of either the beach or sea. Fitted out with dark wood finishs and fine textures, the most exclusive pool villas have their own 48sqm, swimming pools.

Nowhere is the sense of space more evidenced than at Ana Mandara Beach Resort & Spa Hue’s state of the art spa. Large treatment rooms spread out around a central pond, creating a harmony with nature and water. Treatments include the resort’s after a long day’s clambering around Hue’s ancient citadel or the Nguyen tombs.

The resort offers the biggest ballroom in Hue, ideal for any event from small board meetings to a big wedding for 500 people or team building. Providing five-star facilities in an off-the-beaten-track location Ana Mandara is setting a trend for Central Vietnam.

The Ana Mandara Beach Resort and Spa begins with liberating sense of space – your villas or guests rooms are among Hue’s largest. Ana Mandara Beach Resort and Spa offers 78 varying styles of accommodation including Beach pool villas, beach villas, duplex rooms and deluxe rooms with a wide range of choice in decor and style. ABR villas and rooms are designed with the most modern and complete facilities.

Beach Villas

-60 Square meters
-Living room and bed room consist an area of 48 square meters and open bath-room water fall shower and Jacuzzi
– Each villa has attractive garden and sea views, Terrace has 40 square meters of area.

Duplex Units

– Living room at the ground floor with an open terrace and bed room on the upper floor with a large sea view terrace.
– Each Duplex unit has an area of 135 square meters
– One bed room, one living room, one bathroom with shower on the ground floor one full bath-room at the first floor next to the bed room.

Beach Pool Villas

– Total Area of each pool villa is 275 square meters.
– Bed room, Living room and Bath room is 106 square meters. The pool is Rectangular with 4meter wide and 12 meters length,
– 48 square meter total.
– There is a Gazebo at the Pool side with out-door furniture
– A manicured garden in front and back of the pool villa
– The bath room is large with pen shower and, Jacuzzi, and cubic shower with a waterfall shower

For more information, please contact:

Ninh Van Bay Tourist Property Corporation
Add: Room P705 – Hanoi Tung Shing Square Building
2 Ngo Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.
Tel: 84.4.3926 4950 – 3926 4951 – Fax: 84.4.3926 4952

Phan Thiet Hotel & Residential

25 Jun
Phan Thiet Hotel & Residential Development is located in Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province, Vietnam.

It is a new Hotel and Residential Renovation and Expansion project. Renovation part includes an existing of 80 hotel-rooms renovation from a total of 140 existing rooms.

Part of the project is to up-grade and create new back of house and public areas as well as to add a new hotel extension of seventy 45m2 hotel rooms including balcony from a total of 140 existing hotel rooms.

The development also consists of a total of one hundred and fifty units of apartments including one hundred 45m2 one-bedroom units with balcony, forty five 120m2 2-bedroom units, and five 220m2 penthouses units.

There will also be twelve 175 m2 villas located along the beach, a New Golf Club House with eight apartments, and a Hilton operated hotel with branded apartments and villas.


Bitexco Financial Tower

24 Jun
Due to the rapid population growth of Ho Chi Minh City and the dynamic economic development of Vietnam, the need for office space has exceeded supply in Vietnam’s largest city. The Bitexco Financial Tower development, currently under construction, will help ease the demand for office space in this thriving Southeast Asian metropolis.

Binh Minh Import-Export Co (Bitexco), a wholly owned Vietnamese company, is the primary investor in this mixed-use development. Designed by the architect Carlos Zapata Studio, the development consists of a high-rise office building, a five-story retail podium, and four levels of below-grade construction, much of which is devoted to parking. The shape of the tower is modeled after a lotus flower bud, the national flower. Standing at 68 stories upon completion, the office tower is destined to become a landmark in the Ho Chi Minh City skyline.

The office tower is essentially an all-concrete structure. Initially, a mixed system comprised of structural steel floor framing, composite perimeter columns and concrete core walls was developed. However, cost comparison demonstrated that the all-concrete structure had a clear cost advantage over the mixed system.

The typical lower office floors are framed with a conventionally reinforced 10-inch (250mm) thick flat plate. The upper executive office floors are smaller in plan and are framed with a thinner 8-inch (200mm) thick flat plate.

(View big-size image here)

Structural Challenges

Poor soil conditions presented a major challenge to the design of this tall tower; Ho Chi Minh City is on the alluvial plain of the Mekong Delta of the Saigon River. The extremely poor soil conditions are further complicated by a high water table since the building site is one block from the Saigon River. An aggressive schedule and tight site constraints provided additional complexities.

The tower is tall and slender, and has a smooth and rounded plan shape that stands almost 50 stories above the surrounding buildings. For these reasons, wind-induced building sway was a major concern for the structural designers. Additionally, the unconventional building shape is such that the perimeter tapers inward at the lower 20 floors, limiting the width of the structure’s stance and thereby limiting its inherent resistance to building sway. An innovative structural design using concrete outrigger and belt trusses will stiffen the tower against swaying motion. This innovative structural system, combined with the use of the highest strength concrete that could be supplied in the Vietnamese market, proved to be the most economical and constructible structural system.

As with any landmark project in an emerging market, design and construction challenges have been numerous, requiring the cooperative teamwork of the project’s international and local designers and constructors. The project design and construction team is led personally by Mr. Vu Quang Hoi, the Chairman & CEO of Bitexco. Turner International is the program and construction manager and AREP Ville serves as the Executive Architect. Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company is the general contractor for the superstructure. Other primary designers and constructors are listed in Figure 1.

Perimeter Diaphragm Wall

Typically in Ho Chi Minh City, major projects are constructed with two basements. The upper basement is excavated without bracing within a previously constructed diaphragm wall. The first basement slab is cast and the lower basement is constructed top-down.

Since the Bitexco site is small for such a tall tower, four basements were required. Also, the narrow surrounding streets presented a further complication. The time and cost of constructing such a deep basement in such a confined and small site presented a challenge that required the joint efforts of the entire team to solve. After several iterations of architectural layouts, construction sequence plans and diaphragm wall designs, an optimal solution emerged which located the top of the tower mat foundation at the second basement level and not at the fourth basement level, as would be have been expected. This tower mat location, in a sort of split-level basement, minimized the time required to excavate down and to construct the mat, thereby allowing the earliest time for starting the tower construction. The perimeter diaphragm wall was designed to be 32 inches (800mm) thick and was constructed using the slurry method. The wall was constructed to a depth of only 82 feet (25m) below ground to provide a groundwater cutoff for a 46 feet (14m) deep excavation.

Various options were considered for temporarily bracing the diaphragm walls during excavation and basement construction. Tie-backs were deemed infeasible due to the poor soil conditions and the close proximity of surrounding buildings. Rackers and bracing were feasible, but were eliminated because of the constraints that their use would have placed on access to the basements.

Construction Sequence

The final design incorporated a partial top-down approach. In top down construction, the complete ground floor or first basement floor slab is cast before the basements are excavated below. In this partial top down approach, only the perimeter of the ground floor slab was cast and used to stabilize the top of the diaphragm wall before the basement excavation began (Figure 2). This permitted the excavation to the level of the tower mat foundation to be performed without temporary bracing. After the tower mat was cast, the tower superstructure construction began with the tower mat serving as a bracing point for temporary supports for the lower excavations of the adjacent basement areas.

The split-level basement design and the partial top-down sequence have proven to be extremely valuable. It was estimated that excavation and construction of the four basements would take one year. With this design, the mat was constructed and the tower construction began several months before the fourth basement was completed.

The weight of this tall building required very deep foundations. Comprehensive initial studies and subsurface explorations were performed to form a basis of the foundation design and to estimate foundation settlement. Shannon + Wilson, the international geotechnical consultant, performed a finite element computer analysis of the soil-structure interaction below the tower footprint. The time dependent characteristics of the settlement were studied to understand the ways in which the settlement could be expected to affect the structure and the architectural finishes during and after construction. The maximum predicted settlement was determined to be approximately 4 inches (100 mm).

The tower foundation is a bored pile supported mat. The mat is 13 feet (4m) which effectively distributes the tower loads from the walls of the narrow services core over the extent of the mat. The bored piles are 60 inches (1500mm) in diameter that were drilled to a depth of between 235 feet (75m) and 265 feet (85m). Due to the volume of the mat, the mat was constructed in multiple sections. Also, tubing was embedded in the mat for a temporary cooling system. Insulation was placed on the sides and on top of the mat to limit the potential for cracking from the concrete’s heat of hydration.

The foundations for the podium and underlying basements are comprised of 4-inch (1200 mm) diameter bored piles that were drilled to a depth of between 190 feet (58m) and 205 feet (63m). There is one pile for each basement column. The cut-off elevation of these piles is at the fourth basement level. Embedded into the top of each pile is a structural steel wide flange section. The wide flange shape serves to support the perimeter of the ground floor during the top-down excavation and the construction of the basements. Later they will act compositely with the concrete basement columns to support the permanent loads.

Outrigger Truss and Belt Wall Systems

The tower has an aspect ratio (tower height/tower width) of 9, with a core aspect ratio (tower height/core width) of 20. The oval shape of the tower and the absence of surrounding tall buildings, coupled with the high aspect ratio, make the tower susceptible to wind-induced building sway. An innovative cast-in-place outrigger truss system was designed to be used to augment the lateral load resistance of the concrete core and to mitigate the potential for objectionable swaying motions. (Figure 3 shows locations of outrigger trusses and belt walls).

While many concrete and mixed steel and concrete towers have been constructed with structural steel outrigger systems, few have used a reinforced concrete system. Generally this is because concrete systems cannot provide the comparable strength, or they are too big. Additionally, outrigger systems provide an unintended gravity load pathway between the core and the perimeter columns. For steel outrigger systems without special detailing, gravity load stresses in an outrigger system can exceed the stresses required to achieve the intended wind load resistance. Concrete systems do not lend themselves to the special detailing required to mitigate these unintended gravity load stresses.

However, for this project, the team conceived of a system of reinforced and post-tensioned concrete, detailed as trusswork, that overcame these usual obstacles. The diagonals of the system were detailed to allow their installation only after the superstructure was topped out. To the extent that the outrigger system attracts gravity loads from the perimeter columns, the top chords of the trusswork were designed to be post-tensioned to resist these forces.

At Floors 29 and 30, outrigger trusses and belt walls interconnect the core walls and the perimeter columns. The outrigger truss and belt wall system were designed to function with the concrete core walls to complete the wind load resisting system. The outrigger trusses and belt walls will stabilize the core by resisting a portion of the overturning moments associated with wind-induced east-west movements.

There are four sets of double-story outrigger trusses. Two are aligned with the two primary core cross walls and two are aligned with fire stair walls. The connections of the outrigger trusses (40 inches wide, 1000mm wide) to the cross walls (16 inches thick, 400mm) were designed and detailed to transfer the forces effectively. (Figure 4) There are four belt walls, two on each side of the tower. The belt walls are one-story tall and interconnect pairs of perimeter columns to each outrigger truss.

Helipad Framing

As part of the tower’s lotus flower image, one side of the tower protrudes near Floor 55, taking the shape of a lotus bud. A sky lounge is located on the 55th floor with a helipad and an observation deck directly overhead. The helipad is supported by a pair of 82-foot long (25m) tapered steel cantilever girders. These tapered structural steel girders span from the core walls to the perimeter tower columns and cantilever outward to frame the helipad.

The cross-section of the helipad is framed with secondary tapered structural steel beams, spaced approximately 10.5 feet (3.2m) on center, that are oriented perpendicular to the primary girders. Both ends of the secondary beams cantilever beyond the primary girders to support the circular edge of the helipad. In this instance, the choice of steel resulted in a lighter structure and speedier construction.


The Bitexco Financial Tower is proceeding with construction despite the global economic crisis. The city, which has an annual growth rate of 12%, is fast becoming an important trade center in the Southeast Asian region. Once construction is finished in 2010, the Financial Tower will offer approximately 1,000,000 square feet (90,000 square meters) of office space. Like the lotus flower it emulates, the Bitexco Financial Tower is an emblem of the emergence of Vietnam into the Global Community of trade, business and commerce.▪

Source: STRUCTURE® magazine

Cau Giay Commercial Center

23 Jun
The building, which comprises 2 towers a 27 storey office building & 18 storey apartment, is designed for a contemporary appearance, while establishing a contrast between the two main functions of the high-rise. The building design keeps with the increasingly sophisticated businesses investing in Vietnam.

The residential block presents a warmer façade with touches of color and alternating patterns, while the office tower shows a curtain-wall façade with some screen protection on the south-southwest facades. This will assist in operating an energy efficient building aiding in minimising running costs.

– Location : Hanoi – Vietnam

– Size: 51,700 m²; 27 storey office building; 18 storey apartment building.

Design by: Archetype Group.