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Altair is a residential and commercial development under construction in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The building has a 68 floor vertical tower and 63 floor leaning or sloping tower.[3] At 240m, the building will be one of the tallest buildings in Colombo when it is completed. The building is situated on the banks of the Beira Lake on a 2-acre plot of land leased by the Urban Development Authority of Sri Lanka to the Developer Indocean Developers.

UG-LK Photowalk - Altair - 2017-03-12 (2).jpg
The two towers under construction in March 2017
Altair (building) is located in Central Colombo
Altair (building)
Location in Central Colombo
General information
StatusUnder construction
LocationColombo, Sri Lanka
Address127 Sir James Pieris Mawatha, Colombo 00200
Town or cityColombo
CountrySri Lanka
Coordinates06°55′08″N 79°51′16″E / 6.91889°N 79.85444°E / 6.91889; 79.85444Coordinates: 06°55′08″N 79°51′16″E / 6.91889°N 79.85444°E / 6.91889; 79.85444
Construction started2012
Architectural240.0 m (787 ft), 209.0 m (686 ft)[1]
Technical details
Floor count68 Vertical tower 63 Sloping tower
Floor area1,500,000 sq ft (140,000 m2)
Lifts/elevators9 high speed, 2 service
Design and construction
ArchitectMoshe Safdie in association with Design Team 3, Singapore & Sri Lanka
DeveloperSouth City
Main contractorShapoorji Pallonji Mideast LLC
Engineering services
Piling WorksSan Piling
Water ProofingFinco Engineering
Skyscraper Database [2]



The towers under construction (far left) in November 2017.

The building is located in the heart of Colombo, in an area the Urban Development Authority plans to convert into a pedestrian-only promenade to facilitate the 40,000 sq ft (3,700 m2) high-street retail component being constructed at street level. The building's podium will consist of a retail podium for 2 levels of high street shopping and public plaza in front. The Public Plaza will be created by diverting traffic via a new access road or ring road; that would be waterfront plaza for the city, similar to similar waterfronts such as Melbourne Docklands, Singapore's Marina Bay Sands Shoppe Plaza etc. This fully pedestrianised plaza will allow the annual Navam Perehera to pass through and will be fronted by both high street shopping as well as public kiosks etc.

Due to its location, the building will enjoy 270 degree unobstructed views of Beira Lake and the Indian Ocean and panoramic views to hills beyond.


Altair will consist of 406 luxury apartments (2 Bedroom, 3 Bedroom, 4 Bedroom, 2 Level Sky Villas and Penthouses) ranging from 1,420 square feet (132 m2) to over 5,200 square feet (480 m2).

Design and ConstructionEdit

The building has been designed by Moshe Safdie of Safdie Architects, Boston who was also the architect for the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore in association with Design Team 3 Singapore and Thailand as detailing and submitting architects, Derby Design Dubai as Structural Engineers and CKR Dubai as M & E Engineers.

Altair comprises two structures, one a 240-meter vertical tower and a 209-meter leaning tower. The leaning tower is inclined from level 5 to level 39 and goes vertical up to roof level at a height of 209 meters.[1] The leaning or stepping tower has an angle of 13.8 degrees from the vertical and leans towards the vertical tower. The two towers are connected by steel outriggers at four points at levels 39 and 41.[1] Each tower is supported by external walls and internal core walls forming a three dimensional structured frame.

The leaning tower has been designed using a distinctive diagrid structure with flat slabs which not only adds structural stability to the building without the need for internal columns but also allows for a permeable surface with large windows. This allows maximum airflow and light which contributes to energy savings in heating and cooling and also provides access to the balcony for an awesome view.

The towers will be constructed on reinforced concrete piles and a raft footing with a reinforced concrete and/or steel superstructure. Even though Colombo rarely experiences significant earthquakes (it is classified in seismic Zone 0 under the international building code), Altair has been designed to withstand earthquakes up to 7 on the Richter Scale.

The developers have also commissioned wind tunnel tests in Canada where intense studies were undertaken with 103 individual wind speed sensors were placed on a 2m model of Altair with all relevant surrounding buildings and topography within a 480m radius.

Once completed Altair will make a significant contribution to the City of Colombo's skyline as an iconic structure. With resident facilities at Levels 5 & 63 and infinity pools at both at Level 5 and 63, Altair will boast one of the highest located swimming pools in Asia. The Sky Garden on the 63rd floor with a pool will enhance the iconic design of the building.

Completion of the structural work was marked by “topping out” in December 2017.[4] Interior work is currently underway and Altair is schedule to be completed in 2019.[4]


  1. ^ a b c "Altair's structural engineer explains high-rise design principles at Colombo forum". 18 July 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Altair". CTBUH Skyscraper Center.
  3. ^ "Altair Sri Lanka". Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Altair celebrates 'topping out' – interior work in full swing". 17 December 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2018.

External linksEdit