A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to check out Lotte Center Hanoi which is in its final stages of construction. Lotte Center Hanoi is located at 54 Lieu Giai in Ba Dinh District and has been under construction since October 2009. The building is about a 30 minute drive from the Noi Bai International Airport and is nearby the Australian, Korean, Spanish, and US embassies. Its grand opening is currently scheduled for September 2, 2014.
Along with the workers, we had to pass through security turnstiles in order to access the site and then proceeded to head down into the parking area to reach the elevators that would bring us up into the office space. Since it was an active construction site (with three around-the-clock shifts), we donned safety hardhats and were escorted by a Lotte representative at all times.
From the beginning of our tour it was clear that safety was a major priority for the management of Lotte Center Hanoi. This focus on safe working conditions was especially refreshing to see since safety sometimes seems like an afterthought for many construction projects in Vietnam. It’s not uncommon to visit any construction site in Vietnam and see workers walking around barefoot, not using ear protection when operating loud machinery or not utilizing eye protection when welding, and not properly utilizing climbing harnesses when scaling scaffolding. In Vietnam, sometimes hardhats are worn more to protect workers from the sun’s rays than to protect their heads from falling debris.
However, at Lotte Center Hanoi we saw workers in neon safety vests, we saw portable and regularly-interspersed fire extinguishers, and there were clear evacuation route notices everywhere we went so we were impressed by Lotte’s commitment to safety. Restricted areas were clearly marked off and hallways were generally free of clutter (preventing a fire hazard). Floors were protected with thin sheets of wood and giant cloth sheets were even draped over the massive openings in the lobby to try to contain the air conditioned cool air from blowing out into Kim Ma or Lieu Giai streets. According to Lotte Coralis Vietnam, from October 2009 to June 2014 the site has undergone 14,000,000 man hours without an accident. It’s a great example of how a construction site should be managed and we hope that in the future safety will be a higher priority for more general contractors and developers in Vietnam.
Defining the Hanoi Skyline
As a major part of the Hanoi skyline, the building is immediately noticeable from Tay Ho District and appears to tower over the taller Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower (which is farther away from the city center than Lotte Center Hanoi) from the north side of West Lake. The building’s exterior shape is in reference to the ao dai, the traditional Vietnamese dress and the building is actually separated into two towers: Tower A and Tower B which are connected via Sky Garden. At night, the façade at base of the building lights up in a spectacular array of changing colors to match the ever-changing color of the “Lotte” sign.
Throughout the building, First Grade building systems are used and the building uses some advanced techniques, which makes it a pioneering project for Vietnam. For those worried about tectonic plates, the building can withstand a 7.0 magnitude earthquake due to the two-layer outrigger system which enhances its structural stability. Low-carbon dioxide concrete was used to construct Vietnam’s largest support base structure and the building features rainwater harvesting and gray water systems, which makes it a truly eco-friendly project.
World Class Interior Features
Overall, the feel of the space is quite nice even with ongoing construction and unfinished areas. The building is divided into four main spaces: Serviced Residences, Hotel, Office, and Commercial. The Observation Area is on the 65th floor and will feature a Sky Deck like the one in Chicago. The Serviced Residences and Hotel are from the 33rd to 64th floors flanking both sides of the Sky Garden that occupies the center of the building. The hotel will have 318 rooms of which 83 will be suites and 235 will be Deluxe Rooms. The 32nd floor is the Technical Floor and the Offices are located on the 8th through 31st floors. On the 7th floor, there will be an outdoor swimming pool, a basketball court, separate male and female saunas, an indoor golf range, a yoga room, a gym, a jacuzzi, and an outdoor BBQ grill area. Starting on Ground Floor and continuing to the 6th floor will be the Lotte Department Store and Lotte Mart. There will be five levels below-grade which will contain the parking area for the building.
One of the unique features about Lotte Center Hanoi is the Sky Garden, which is a series of atria inside the building that occupy the middle space between Tower A and Tower B. They are four-story (office floors) and five-story (residential floors) areas for communal activities such as meetings, private events, or just a place to relax. For the office spaces, the tenant on the ground level of each atrium is able to modify the atrium to reflect a company’s culture (within Lotte specifications). The office space also features one of four raised floors in Hanoi, making it easier for the tenant to outfit the space to meet specific technology needs.
There are one, two, three, and four bedroom Serviced Residence layouts to choose from with the one bedroom (64-84 m²) pricing around $2,700 per month and four bedroom (175 m²) available for around $7,000 per month. If you do end up moving in, make sure to ask for permission before hanging any paintings. All the serviced apartments we saw had a beautiful view of West Lake but most serviced apartments should have a view of the north, west, or east due to the building space distribution. Double Low-E multi-layer glass are used in the Saint Gobaint windows, which are imported from France. Some bedrooms might have a Sky Garden view as opposed to a skyline view depending on how many bedrooms a unit has. All apartments are equipped with WiFi and wired internet connections.
The bedrooms all have different styles, themes, and layouts, ranging from lighter woods to darker tones with complementary appliances. Regardless, each apartment is fitted with a single downlight near the entrance that is motion activated to provide light as soon as you enter the apartment, and which will turn off automatically once you leave. It’s a great and rather simple feature than can be helpful in any residence.
For private events there will be three banquet halls (Crystal Ball, Charlotte, and Emerald) to choose from plus a Wedding Center on the 6th floor. Depending on which banquet hall, it can accommodate anywhere from 100 to 900 people. A wedding celebration in the Crystal Ball banquet hall might be the new standard for Hanoi’s elite.
Perhaps the most-anticipated feature of Lotte Center Hanoi will be the rooftop restaurant on the 68th floor called “Top of Hanoi.” It will be an open-air restaurant with a surrounding view of Hanoi—something that does not yet exist in Vietnam at or near that height. Additionally, there will be six other food and beverage (F&B) outlets to choose from, featuring a variety of cuisines and flavors.
A New Level of Luxury in Vietnam and in Asia
If you end up living in one of the Serviced Residences in Lotte Center Hanoi, then you might never have to leave the building for most of your activities, provided that your office is downstairs, you shop at Lotte Mart or Lotte Department Store, and any visitors you might have stay in the five-star hotel. It’s truly an amazing vision that has been realized in Hanoi and we look forward to what the Lotte Group has in store next for Vietnam.
Lotte Group has the Lotte Legend Hotel in Saigon so this is its second hotel in Vietnam. It’s built by Lotte Group, a conglomerate that has over 60 business units and employs over 60,000 people with headquarters in Japan, but significant business divisions located in South Korea.
Lotte Group is currently building Lotte World Tower in Seoul, Korea. It will be almost twice the size of Lotte Center Hanoi but currently about 70 of 123 floors are complete. When it will be finished in 2016 (scheduled), it will be the sixth tallest building in the world.
The Lotte Group is named after Goethe’s work of art, “Charlotte.”
For more information about Lotte Center Hanoi please contact Nguyen Thi Hien (Ms. Hien) in the Marketing Department via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone at +84 97-925-9190.