L&T-built Statue of Unity enters the prestigious 2019 World Architecture News Awards

Mumbai: Constructed by Larsen & Toubro, the technology, engineering and construction conglomerate, in a record time of 33 months, the world’s tallest statue – the Statue of Unity – has entered the prestigious and internationally acclaimed 2019 World Architecture News Awards in the Mixed Use category. The World Architecture News Awards showcase the best international design in both current and future projects.

“This is a significant and deserving recognition of India’s engineering skills and project management prowess,” is how Mr. S N Subrahmanyan, CEO & Managing Director, L&T, enthused about the news of this recognition. “The Statue of Unity was by far one of the most complex and challenging assignments we have executed and being featured along with several other global engineering marvels is a truly remarkable achievement not only for all of us at L&T but for our entire nation as well.”

At 182 meters (597 feet), the Statue of Unity towers above all other similar structures in the world, standing as a fitting memorial to the mighty contribution of Sardar Vallahbhai Patel in India’s freedom struggle and the stellar role he played in unifying the country into a nation. 6,500 tons of structural steel, 18,500 tons of reinforced steel, 210,000 cum concrete and 1,700 tons of bronze cladding went into its making, that is a tribute to the effort of an army of 4,500+ designers, architects, global consultants, engineers and workmen from across the country.

“The Statue of Unity is not only a triumph of teamwork but also that of digitalization,” remarked Mr. M V Satish, Whole Time Director & Senior Executive Vice President (Buildings, Minerals & Metals) L&T. “We were operating in an extremely tough terrain and hence used a range of geospatial technologies like DGNSS, terrestrial LiDAR, drone-based photogrammetry for our geological surveys and sonar for the hydrographic survey. Every one of the 6,500-odd bronze panels were RFID-tagged that rendered assembly and erection much easier,” he added.

Situated on Sadhu Bet, 3.2 km downstream from the Narmada Dam, the entire complex comprises a museum at its base, a memorial garden, a designer bridge connecting Sadhu Island with the mainland along the Narmada River, an internal roadway of 5 km length, an administrative complex, a star rated hotel (Shrestha Bharat Bhavan) and a conference centre.

The statue, conceived as a naturalistic depiction of Sardar Patel in his characteristic style in a walking pose, rises out of a star-shaped, geometric base that covers the entire Sadhu Hill. It has a unique, slender width-to-height ratio, far more exacting than existing technical norms that called for special engineering considerations. Two vertical cores that house high-speed passenger elevators support the steel frames to which about 6,500 bronze panels are clad. A viewing gallery at the level at the chest (135 m) can accommodate up to 200 visitors at one go and affords a breath-taking view of the Sardar Sarovar dam and its environs.

Did you know?

· One of the few structures on earth visible from space

· At 182 m, the Statue of Unity is 100 times larger than a normal human being

· It is twice taller than the famous Statue of Liberty

· At 70 feet, the Sardar’s face is bigger than the faces of the US presidents cut out on Mount Rushmore in the US

· The statue can withstand wind velocities of up to 180 miles / hour and earthquakes of intensity of up to 6.5 on the Richter Scale