Colombo Skyline with Lotus Tower
|Location||Colombo, Sri Lanka|
|Completed||15 September 2019|
|Opened||16 September 2019|
|Antenna spire||356 m (1,168.0 ft)|
(6 in base, 7 in flower)
Lotus Tower (Sinhala: නෙළුම් කුළුණ; Tamil: தாமரைக் கோபுரம்), also referred to as Colombo Lotus Tower, is a tower of 356 m (1,168 ft), located in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It also reflects the symbolic landmark of Sri Lanka. As of 16 September 2019, the tower is currently the tallest self-supported structure in South Asia. It is also the second tallest structure in South Asia after the guy-wire-supported INS Kattabomman in India. The tower is also the 11th tallest completed tower in Asia and it is also the 19th tallest tower in the world. It was first proposed to be built in the suburb of Peliyagoda but later the Government of Sri Lanka decided to shift the location. The lotus-shaped tower will be used for communication, observation and other leisure facilities, with construction costing $104.3 million, funded by EXIM Bank of People's Republic of China. It is visible throughout Colombo, its suburbs and most major highways radiating from and around the city.
After an initial decision to construct the tower within the confines of a suburb of the country's economic capital city of Colombo, Sri Lanka's government announced their plans to shift the location to the heart of the city. The tower's new location is on the waterfront of the Beira Lake.
With the witness of the President of Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL), the Secretary of the Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry, the Presidents of China National Electronics Importers and Exporters Corporation (CEIEC) and Aerospace Long March International Trade Co. Ltd (ALIT) signed the contract with the Director-General of TRCSL, Anusha Palpita, for the project on 3 January 2012.
The project commenced during the tenure of former President Mahinda Rajapakse and the construction began on 20 January 2012 following a foundation stone-laying ceremony. The site is located on the waterfront of Beira Lake and alongside a part of the D. R. Wijewardene Mawatha.
In December 2014, the tower's construction crossed the 125 m (410 ft) milestone and as of July 2015, the tower had reached 255 m (837 ft).
Designs & Functions
The design of this building is inspired by the Lotus flower. The lotus symbolizes purity within Sri Lankan culture and is also said to symbolize the country's flourishing development. The tower base is inspired by the lotus throne and will also be formed by two inverted trapezoidal. The tower's color is planned to alternate between pink and light yellow by smooth transition- an effect achieved by coating the glass.
The tower is approximately 350 m (1,150 ft) tall and covers 30,600 m2 (329,000 sq ft) of floor area.
Lotus Tower's main revenue sources will be tourism and antenna leasing. It will function as a radio and television broadcasting antenna ISDB-T and proposed DVB-T2 support structure for 50 television services, 35 FM Radio Stations and 20 telecommunication service providers, and will house a variety of tourist attractions.
The tower has four entrances, with two being used as VIP (distinguished guests and state leaders) entrances. A telecommunications museum and restaurant are located on the ground floor. The tower podium consists of 6 floors. The first floor of the podium will accommodate a museum and two exhibition halls. The second floor will be utilised for several conference halls with seating space in excess of 500 people. Restaurants, supermarkets, and food courts will be situated on the third floor. A 1000-seat auditorium will be located on the fourth floor, which will also be used as a ballroom. The fifth floor will include luxury hotel rooms, large ballrooms, and the seventh floor will host an observation gallery. The landscaping is planned in the form of a large water park.
The Colombo Monorail, which was a proposed monorail system in Colombo, and the BRT system were to converge at a common 'multi-modal hub' located in close proximity to the Lotus Tower, making the tower a major city center. The Monorail was canceled in 2016, and instead, a light rail will be constructed in Colombo.
During the opening ceremony which was held on 16 September 2019, incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena at a ceremonial speech mentioned and claimed an allegation on a scam regarding an advance of 2 billion rupees which was given to an approved company ALIT in 2012 by the then government, was later revealed in 2016 that such a company did not exist. However this was later proven to be false as ALIT was in fact the acronym of the Chinese state-owned Aerospace Long-March International Trade Co. ALIT denied receiving the payment claiming that the entire amount was paid to the China National Electronics Import & Export Corporation (CEIEC) as had ALIT left the project. It also noted that the TRC paid $15.6 million (2 billion rupees) into CEIEC's account in Exim Bank in October 2012, the same amount which Sirisena claims to have been "misappropriated" by ALIT.
- "Lotus Tower - The Skyscraper Center". www.skyscrapercenter.com. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
- "Foundation stone laid for Lotus Tower". Archived from the original on 9 March 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
- "Symbolic landmark of Sri Lanka: Lotus Tower (Nelum Kuluna)". Sunday Observer. 14 September 2019. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
- "Colombo to get 350 m high multifunctional communication tower soon". Sunday Times. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
- "Sri Lankan version of Rs. 11bn Eiffel tower mooted". Asian Tribune News. Archived from the original on 19 April 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
- CEIEC Signed the Contract of Colombo Lotus Tower Project, CEIEC.com News. Retrieved 3 January 2012
- Colombo Lotus Tower – Minister Basil Rajapakse Lays Foundation Stone, TRCSL Press. Retrieved 20 January 2012
- "Lotus Tower in Colombo". Akathy. Retrieved 20 January 2012.[permanent dead link]
- "Chinese contractor puts India at ease; Dispute over Colombo Lotus Tower". The Island. 20 April 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
- LBO (16 September 2019). "Lotus Tower, tallest in South Asia to open today". Lanka Business Online. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
- "Tallest in South Asia". Development LK. Archived from the original on 28 July 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
- "Colombo Lotus Tower Project Contract Signing Ceremony". TRCSL Press. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
- "China firm vanishes with billions in Sri Lanka Lotus Tower scam". EconomyNext. 16 September 2019. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
- "China's ALIT rejects Sri Lanka leader's graft allegation". www.reuters.com. Reuters. Retrieved 23 September 2019.