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04 Dec 2008
Rising to a height of 260 metres, Centaurus will be Islamabad’s first skyscraper and the tallest building in Pakistan.
Inspiration for Centaurus came from its location at the foothills of the Himalayas. “The contours of the Margala Hills are reflected in the long, sloping roof,” says Hakim Khennouchi, design director with Atkins. “This connects up the different components of the project, extending from the mall, over an external plaza, to become the roof of the five-star deluxe hotel.”
It was Atkins’ reputation for creating landmark buildings that led the client to seek its expertise on the Centaurus project. They wanted a building that would break the mould for more than height alone.
Combining a 36-floor hotel, three 23-floor residential and office towers and a five-storey shopping mall, Centaurus is a multifunctional building on a scale not yet seen in Pakistan.
Centaurus also incorporates various features aimed at resource efficiency – design elements not normally found in Pakistan. For example, while it can rain heavily in Islamabad, water shortages are common, so as well as rainwater harvesting, Atkins proposed greywater recycling to provide treated water for landscaping, sprinklers and the toilets. “We also recommended a combined heat and power system for the hotel, and the use of waste heat to both heat and cool the buildings,” says Paul Medhurst, project manager with Atkins. “This is an iconic signature building for Islamabad and puts the capital firmly on the world map.”
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