Cesar Pelli has designed what will be the tallest skyscraper in South America once built, as part of the four building complex, the Costanera Centre in Santiago, Chile.
The Gran Torre Costanera at 257 metres tall will contain 60 floors of brand new office space whilst at the same time substantially trumping the current tallest in the city which is only 143 metres in height.
Built by Argentine and Chilean developer Cencosud, it will stand on top of the largest shopping mall in Chile, given they are own a number of shopping chains the mall capable of accommodating 200 new shops and 2 supermarkets on four levels is well within their area of expertise.
The design, a typically conservative example of how Pelli embraces futurism these days, gently tapers away from corners that recede as the height increases exposing a more multi-faceted form referencing the traditional form of a skyscraper whilst managing to not look even a year out of date.
The top of the tower expresses the structural form of what would be the crown. At night this lattice-work will become illuminated like a lighthouse serving as a beacon visible around the entire city.
This isn't the only tower being built in Santiago right now - the city's second tallest, Titanium La Portada with a domineering curving frontage, at 181 metres and 52 floors is also going up only 200 metres from the Costanera Centre creating a double peaked skyline.
With two skyscrapers now under construction this relative crop has encouraged some locals to rather optimistically dub part of Santiago, Sanhattan. New York currently has 196 skyscrapers so there's some way to go yet but it does show how tall buildings can act to broaden the horizons of a city's population and give them a new aura of importance around where they live.
Titanium La Portada will be finished in 2009 and the Gran Torre Costanera is due to be rounded off shortly after in 2010.