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Progress Made on World's Tallest Statue

Thursday, April 12, 2018

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Construction is well underway for what will turn out to be the world’s tallest statue, located in India. As of last month, the Statue of Unity’s infrastructure has started taking its final shape—namely the completion of internal twin concrete cores.

The $460 million monument—slated to stand 597 feet tall upon completion—honors the country’s first deputy prime minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and his work unifying India’s states into a single, independent country.

Statue Design Details

The statue stands on Sadhu-Bet Island, which is more a rocky outcrop than a proper island thanks to the construction of the Sardar Sarovar Dam upstream, on the Naramada River. The outcrop was reinforced to accommodate the statue, and will return to its original island state via the construction of a downstream weir that will cause the waters of the river to rise about 19 feet.

Michael Graves Architecture & Design

Construction is well underway for what will turn out to be the world’s tallest statue, located in India. As of last month, the Statue of Unity’s infrastructure has started taking its final shape—namely the completion of internal twin concrete cores.

Michael Graves Architecture & Design was brought on as the design architect for the project, which includes plans for a base housing a visitor’s center and a series of display halls dedicated to Sardar Patel and the history of India’s independence. A viewing area will also be established in the chest of the statue, providing both panoramic views and a glimpse of the structural detailing of the cast bronze micro-panels that cover the sculpture.

Artist and sculptor Ram Sutar first modeled the Statue of Unity as a 30-foot-tall “miniature” version in his workshop, noted the architecture firm. This led to a full-size digital model, which was then divided into roughly equal-sized segments to form the outer “skin” of the structure.

The exterior of the statue will be covered with a series of cast bronze micro-panels, “arranged in a series of rings that are supported on the structural steel scaffolding that will be hung from the internal twin concrete cores,” according to a press release from MGA&D.

These rings are first tested for fit. Then, they are assembled on the ground to form a complete ring to allow workers for final adjustments prior to craning the pieces into place. After approval, the panels are separated into manageable sections and lifted into position. The first micro-panel has already been installed.

The Statue of Unity is slated for completion by Oct. 31, on what would be Patel’s 143rd birthday, and will be roughly twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty. 


Tagged categories: Color + Design; Construction; Design; Design build; Project Management

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (4/12/2018, 9:18 AM)

I hope they figure out how to electrically isolate the bronze panels from the steel structure, or they will have a nice galvanic current driving corrosion of the steel. Example from the Statue of Liberty: https://io9.gizmodo.com/we-accidentally-turned-the-entire-statue-of-liberty-int-1702334758 And the original modern report of galvanic corrosion between iron and copper (steel and bronze are nearly the same from a corrosion perspective) https://corrosion-doctors.org/Corrosion-History/Lessons.htm

Comment from peter gibson, (4/13/2018, 2:50 PM)

Bit of overkill with the $460 m price. Most of the populace are starving. Is he really worth that much....ridiculous.Brother Gandhi only got a mini statue. He did a whole lotta walkin.

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