The Costanera Center Torre 2, better known as Gran Torre Santiago (Great Santiago Tower), and previously known as Torre Gran Costanera, is a 64-story tall skyscraper in Santiago, Chile, the tallest in Latin America.
It is the second-tallest building by highest architectural feature (behind Q1 in Australia) and by highest occupied floor (after Australia’s Eureka Tower) in the Southern Hemisphere. It was designed by Argentine architect César Pelli.
The tower is not only the tallest in South America, but it also it is one so towering it casts a shadow more than a mile long. The Gran Torre Costanera Center where the tower is located, represents a giant that dwarfs the city’s other skyscrapers, and overwhelms the view of a city founded in 1541 by Spanish conquistadors which still remains proud of its colonial-era buildings.
The 300 meters (984 foot) tall Gran Torre is not as tall as New York’s iconic Empire State Building (381 meters – 1250 feet) and is less than half the size of the world’s tallest building, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa (828 meters – 2,717 feet). But it is significantly taller than the other regional giant, the Trump Ocean Club in Panama City (293 meters – 961 feet).
As part of the Costanera Center complex, which includes the largest shopping mall in Latin America, there are as well two hotels and two additional office towers. Even though it rises 64 floors above ground, there are 6 basement floors, which makes the building actually 70 stories high. The tower has nearly 700,000 square meters of building space available built on 47,000 square meters of land.
Planners estimated that there would be some 240,000 people going to and from the site each day. The structural engineering is performed by the Chilean company René Lagos y Asociados Ing. Civiles Ltda, and Salfa Corp. was responsible for its construction.
The construction actually began in June 2006 and was expected to be completed in 2010, but was put on hold in January 2009 due to the global financial crisis of 2008–2009.
Construction on the project resumed on 17 December 2009 and it was expected to be inaugurated in 2013. In November 2010 it officially became the tallest building in Chile, taking the first place from the building Titanium La Portada, where in February 2011 it has overtaken Caracas’s Twin Towers primate to become the tallest building in South America.
Structural work on the tower was completed in July 2011 and the maximum height of 300 m was achieved on 14 February 2012, becoming the tallest building in Latin America. In 2013, the tower was completed, as planned.
On 11 August 2015 an observation deck, called “Sky Costanera,” was opened to the public in floors 61 and 62, offering 360° views of the amazing city of Santiago. The total cost of the building was supposed to be around $400 million, but as usual the overall cost was around $1 billion. All in all, it is a masterpiece of the South American Architecture, and definitely deserves to be called Grand Torre, a symbol of an emerging confident modern Chile.