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The Marilyn Monroe Towers

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Dr. N. Subramanian
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:59 pm    Post subject: The Marilyn Monroe Towers Reply with quote

Absolute World Towers

General information
Type      Residential condominiums
Location      50-60 Absolute Avenue
Mississauga, Ontario
Roof      Tower 1: 179.5 m
Tower 2: 161.2 m
Technical details
Floor count      Tower 1: 56 floors
Tower 2: 50 floors
Floor area      Recreation Centre: 2,800 m2
Elevators      Tower 1: 6
Tower 2: 6
Design and Construction
Architect      Burka Architects
MAD Studio
Developer      Fernbrook Homes
Cityzen Development Group
Structural engineer      Sigmund Soudack & Associates

Absolute World is a residential condominium twin tower skyscraper complex in the five tower Absolute City Centre development in Mississauga, Ontario.The project built by Fernbrook Homes and Cityzen Development Group. With the first three towers completed (Absolute City Centre 1 & 2 and Absolute Vision), the last two towers (Absolute World 4 & 5) were topped off at 50 and 56 storey.The buildings were the final two towers to be developed in a five-tower condo complex, called Absolute World, built at Mississauga’s main intersection, across from the Square One Shopping Center, one of the largest shopping malls in the Toronto region. The first three towers were of more conventional high-rise design.

An international design competition was going to be held for the building of the fourth tower for Absolute World and over six hundred registrants and ninety-two submissions from architects in seventy countries took part in this competition.Yansong Ma, founder of the MAD office, Beijing/China architectural design firm was announced as the winner.Now, joining London’s spiraling Gherkin building and New York’s rippling 8 Spruce Street is Mississauga’s buxom Absolute tower — or rather, two of them, both designed by the Chinese architect Ma Yansong, assisted by his partner, Qun Dang.

Mr. Ma, a founder of the MAD Architectural Design Studio in Beijing and a Beijing native, said he’d never heard of Mississauga when he discovered the design competition online in 2005.

However, he had spent several years studying in Yale University’s architectural program, so Mr. Ma said he had in mind a generic midsize North American city.

“I was imagining Mississauga as a city aiming to become Chicago or Toronto, with a lot of big towers, in the future,” he said.

Within days of the announcement, the building had been nicknamed the "Marilyn Monroe" tower due to its curvaceous, hourglass figure likened to actress Marilyn Monroe. Burka Varacalli Architects, a Toronto firm, was hired as MA local partner in April 2007.

On June 14, 2012, the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, a non-profit group of architects and engineers, reported that the towers were among the world's best new skyscrapers.


The tower twists 209 degrees from the base to the top, making it very similar to Turning Torso in Malmö, Sweden.A truer analogue might be Prague’s Dancing House, originally called “Fred and Ginger” for its sinuous qualities, evocative of the dancing pair. It was designed by Frank Gehry and the Croatian-Czech architect Vlado Milunic. The structural design was done by Sigmund Soudack & Associates Inc, a Toronto-based almost 40-year-old structural engineering firm. The tower has six levels of underground parking.

The unpredictable bulges of Mr. Ma’s skyscrapers, which have a slightly different appearance from every angle, created huge challenges for the towers’ builders and engineers, which translated to financial challenges for the developers. Most skyscrapers are built on straight lines for a reason: they’re more efficient to build that way.

In the “Marilyn” tower and its counterpart, “every floor is different,” said Sigmund Soudack, a principal with Sigmund Soudack & Associates, a Toronto-based structural engineering firm that consulted on the project. “The challenge was to execute and make the buildings functional.”

While the floor plates are the same for all floors, they had to be rotated to various degrees, said Anthony Pignetti, a vice president and director of construction for the Dominus Construction Group, which built the Absolute towers. Support walls had to be widened and narrowed, and columns lengthened and shortened, to hold up each successive floor. Builders and engineers had to design an internal construction hoist, since curving walls wouldn’t allow an affordable external one. None of the 428 condo units are exactly alike, Mr. Pignetti said.

Each floor has a balcony that wraps fully around it, which had to be separated in some way from the main floor slab or the balcony would drain heat or cold from the units. Engineers solved that problem by designing “thermal breaks” and may seek a patent for the process, said Yury Gelman, a senior engineer with Sigmund Soudack.

In all, the five-tower Absolute World project cost 450 million Canadian dollars (about $470 million), and more than half of that went into constructing the two curvy towers, said Sergio Vacilotto, the director of site operations with Dominus Construction

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