Nearly 40% of the population of Chile, a country in South America, lives in the metropolitan area of its capital city Santiago.
The city has had quite some time to grow because it was founded by the Spanish conquistador Pedro de Valdivia in 1541 and has been the country’s capital since colonial times.
None of these Spanish explorers could have imagined that one of the most famous skyscrapers in the world would have been constructed here hundreds of years later.
In this article, you’ll discover some of the most interesting facts about the Gran Torre Santiago, a Postmodern building that dominates the city’s skyline.
1. The tower is located in the northeastern part of the city
Santiago is the capital city of the elongated country in South America that covers vast parts of the western part of the continent.
The city is situated in the middle of the country in an area known as the Central Valley. It’s surrounded by the Andes Mountains and lies between 500 and 650 meters (1,640 and 2,133 feet) above sea level.
The historical center of the city is dominated by 19th-century Neoclassical architecture and also features a large number of Gothic Revival and Art Deco buildings.
The modern complex, of which the Gran Torre Santiago is the centerpiece, is located in the northeastern part of the city, along the banks of the Mapocho River.
2. It’s part of a commercial center that features the largest mall in South America
This business and commercial center is called the Costanera Center and is a complex of 4 skyscrapers, a shopping mall, and a hotel.
It’s located within the Providencia district of the city and it’s pretty easy to find because the main skyscraper towers above every other building in the city.
The shopping mall that adjoins the tower features 6 floors and was designed by a Canadian retail agency called Watt International. It’s the largest of its kind in South America and opened its doors in 2012.
3. The tower was designed by a renowned Argentine architect
The centerpiece of this complex is the skyscraper described in this article, the Gran Torre Santiago. It was originally named Torre Costanera but has been renamed since.
It was designed by one of the most famous architects in South American history, the Argentinian César Pelli (1926-2019).
That’s because Pelli has designed some of the most remarkable buildings in the world, including the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur and the Torre de Cristal in Madrid, to name just a few.
The building resembles the design of an ancient obelisk but with a shiny glass façade. It’s one of Pelli’s great Postmodern Buildings which made him such a renowned architect.
4. The design looks very similar to that of a skyscraper in San Francisco
The Gran Torre or the “Great Tower” served as a source of inspiration for a famous skyscraper in San Francisco known as the Salesforce Tower.
The design bears a striking resemblance to the tower in Santiago. It stands 326 meters (1,070 feet) tall and has been the tallest building in San Francisco since it was completed in 2018.
The landmark in San Francisco is extra special because it features a digital sculpture on its top floors which displays scenes of the streets of the city every night.
5. The expensive tower took 7 years to complete
The Salesforce Tower cost $1.1 billion to complete and the tower in Santiago wasn’t much cheaper at a whopping $1 billion.
The construction had already started in 2006 but was halted for several years because of the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009.
The work didn’t resume until 2010 and the tower was finally completed several years behind schedule in 2013. It had already topped out a year earlier in February 2012.
6. How tall is the Gran Torre Santiago?
For $1 billion, you can expect to have a pretty amazing building. The Gran Torre Santiago stands 300 meters (984 feet) tall and is by far the tallest building in the city.
Some other remarkable stats about the tower are:
- It features 62 floors excluding 6 floors below ground level.
- The top floor is situated at a height of 261 meters (856 feet).
- The tower has a floor area of 107,125 square meters (1,153,083 square feet).
- The building is equipped with 24 elevators.
7. The skyscraper in Santiago holds an amazing record
Although the biggest cities in South America feature large amounts of skyscrapers, not too many of them can be classified as supertall.
The Gran Torre Santiago is an exception because it’s the only building in South America that reaches a height of 300 meters (984 feet), which obviously makes it the tallest building.
It’s also the 4th-tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere after:
- Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand – 328 meters (1,076.1 feet)
- Q1 Tower in Gold Coast, Australia – 322.5 meters (1,058 feet)
- Australia 108 in Melbourne, Australia – 316.7 meters (1,039 feet)
8. The top floors feature an observation deck that provides stunning views of Santiago
The tallest building in the city usually provides the best views and this isn’t any different at the Gran Torre Santiago. The views are quite literally dazzling.
Floors 61 and 62 of the building are reserved for an observation deck that opened in 2015 called “Sky Costanera.”
The bustling metropolis of Santiago in combination with the backdrop of the Andes Mountains makes this one of the most amazing attractions in South America.