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India’s clock tower to dwarf London’s Big Ben

Photo courtesy BBC

By Parag Deulgaonkar

Indian city Mysuru (earlier called Mysore) is going into records books as it will house the world’s tallest free-standing clock tower.

The proposed 135 meter-tall tower will be 19 floors high and will house a boardroom on the seventh level. It beats London’s famous Big Ben (96 meters).

The project, envisioned by Infosys’ co-founder NR Narayana Murthy, will be completed in less than two years’ time in the company’s city campus at the cost of Dh32 million (Rs600 million).

Hafeez Contractor, the designer of the Infosys campus, has been mandated to design the tower, while structural engineering consultancy contract has been awarded to New York-based firm LERA. The contractor is Bengaluru-based KEF Infra.

A mini city in itself, it is spread over 350 acres, with 12 million square feet built-up area and the capacity to host more than 15,000 trainees (residing on campus), 8,000 plus employees and several thousand contract workers.

“Towers are a common site in many campuses and they get a sense of academic breathing to the campus. To instill a similar feeling, we are constructing this classical clock tower with a digital time piece in our Mysuru campus,” an Infosys spokesperson said.

“It will be built in a gothic style to match the classical look of the other buildings in the campus. The tower will also aim at combining tradition and modern technology. With large digital screens on all four sides, it will also be used to display messages on important occasions.”

The tallest freestanding clock tower in the world is the Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, which stands at 100 metres, according to wikipedia.

There are taller buildings which have had clocks faces added to an existing structure such as Palace of Culture and Science with a clock added in 2000 (roof height: 187.68 metres), NTT DoCoMo Yoyogi Building with a clock added in 2002 (roof height: 240 meters).

The Abraj Al Bait, constructed in 2012 is a hotel tower, with the largest clock face in the world (roof top: 530 metres).