Construction work has begun on the Centaurus Hotel in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, that has been nicknamed "the ski jump" by locals thanks to its unique profile. Designed by British firm Atkins who are getting quite a name for themselves in the world of international architecture thanks to their boldly futuristic designs, the 278,000 square metre scheme will contain as its centrepiece, a 30 floor hotel with 350 bedrooms topped by a restaurant and observation level. The tower shares a podium with an undulating roof with three 23 floor tall residential towers sitting on the top of it containing over 300 apartments. The project will also have a 27,870 square metre shopping mall on the lowest floors and offer 23,225 square metres of office space. There's no published height for the development yet but with the outrageously tall spire that turns the tower into something literally pricking the sky it's sure to come in at over 200m. It might not be the tallest building in the world but with so many supertalls under construction these days from China to Dubai it takes more than height to get noticed. Developer Pak Gulf Ltd are yet another Arab business concern with rich with oil money and successful projects in the likes of Dubai who are looking to Pakistan as an emerging and highly profitable market. It's these companies that is driving what is the first phase of skyscraper building in Pakistan. Islamabad despite being the capital of the country doesn't even have a single skyscraper yet but the developers hope that the $315 million dollar project when complete in 2010, will not only break the mould in terms of development scale but also be a highly recognisable modern landmark.
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Photo taken in Blue Area, Islamabad, Pakistan
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