Skywards: Trivandrum Goes Vertical
Have you ever tried to imagine how our city will look like, a quarter of a century from now?
Don’t worry, I’m not talking about Global Warming and sea level change, so don’t close this browser window. Visualize yourself driving through the NH Bypass on a nice afternoon in 2035 Christmas week, crossing the Akkulam lake. Are you seeing what I’m seeing?
I’m talking about the prodigious highrise boom witnessed in Trivandrum now-a-days…
Saraswathi Nilayam, when topped out in the virgin 80s must’ve definitely created a huge interest. Though a 10 storied apartment complex is too humble to be classified a ‘highrise’, (Emporis laysout a figure of 12 floors/35m for a highrise) it must surely have made some old jaws drop. So did the Spencer Building on MG road, even now a class apart when it comes to design. In fact Samarias Centerin PMG was among the first true highrises, crossing that 35m mark. It had a congruous neighbour in Co Bank Towers, a true highrise with a trendy architecture and novel features like the escalator. Hotel Fort Manor in East Fort, the SCTIMST(Sree Chitra Hospital) and co which were early lamp-bearers of the highrise culture.
Surely we all can recognize these august landmarks of erstwhile Trivandrum.
The apartment culture, which evaded the city and suburbs in recent times, has pushed the limits to a different level. Trivandrum’s peculiar geography and proximity of the International Airport meant that highrise construction within the core city areas had severe height restrictions. As you may have observed, the array of commercial structures opposite Secretariat have topped out at exactly the same height. The Kowdiar-Vazhuthacaud belt did create a slew of tall residential buildings, with SI’s Windbrook Place (17 floors) holding the ‘gigantism’ record for a while.
With the apartments dotting the city like Pine trees in a conifer forest, Trivandrum started checking the options to crack its population density problem. With the urban land costing a premium, 20+ storied structures, well over 60m height became a norm especially along the IT Corridor.
The only hinderance to the city ushering in true skyscrapers towering over 100m, was the proximity to the Airport but things have changed at the stroke of a pen. The AAI (Airport Authority of India) waived the limitations vis a vis heights a few months back, and it means that structures can zoom upto 3 times the heights permitted earlier!
In plain words, close to/over 50 floors is now possible even along the Akkulam shores! Difficult to believe? We already have 36 floor multiple towers under construction in Akkulam. And still taller ones are on the drawing board, so let’s keep our fingers and toes crossed!
What we now need is our authorities rising upto the challenge and upgrade the infrastructure crucial to promote this model of highrise development. And going skywards is definitely going to be the one option for the future, if we are looking at the ‘green’ aspect of it
Image Courtesy: Flickr
Author: scorpiogenius (9 Articles)
scorpio, but far from a genius. XY chromosomal, travel addict, media-holic, big-city maniac, fun loving and absent minded. That's me in a nutshell! :)