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Ground force

Unlike most proposals for recordbreaking structures, the 100 storey Kowloon Station tower will actually be built. 'The project is past the point of no return, ' asserts Arup director George Chan. 'Foundation construction will begin later this year, with project completion in 2006.'

As with the Hong Kong Station tower, the foundations for the 490m tall Kowloon tower are a particular challenge. Preliminary site investigations indicated that that the building was located directly above a 30m deep V-shaped valley in the rockhead, which was generally 70m below.

'The latest investigations which have just finished now show a flat-bottomed valley with the lowest point 130m down, ' Chan reports. Whatever the foundation solution adopted, the superstructure of the building which will dominate the Kowloon skyline will have many structural similarities to its 88 storey cousin on Hong Kong Island. In this case however, the megacolumns will be even more massive, at 3m square.

A six star hotel is planned to occupy the top 15 floors of the megatower. Guests should have one of the most spectacular views in the world. From a ferry in the harbour the two towers should form a distinctive and unique symbol of 21st century Hong Kong, a true gateway to China.

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