Macau Eiffel Tower, Macau

Providing structural engineering design to Macau landmark

  • Faithful half-sized replica of the famous Eiffel Tower
  • Aurecon's role: Structural engineering, digital modelling
  • Client: Sands China Ltd.

Aurecon was closely involved in the planning and design for the distinctive new structure, providing full structural engineering consultancy on the job, and helped manage the difficulties of maintaining an authentic design.

The Macau Eiffel Tower forms part of The Parisian Macao, an integrated resort, which is currently under development by Sands China Ltd., a subsidiary of resorts giant Las Vegas Sands Corp. The Macau Eiffel Tower, which is half the scale of the original, is a faithful replica of the famed 19th century counterpart in Paris.

Aurecon provided the drafting of the tower using Revit software, which allowed the team to visually represent the complicated design connections in 3D. This made it easier to detect any potential challenges or clashes that might arise during construction even before building work had begun. As a result, this ensured time-consuming amendments at the shop drawing preparation or fabrication stage were avoided.

The original structural performance criteria for this project were specified at an early stage and were largely based on the criteria commonly used for conventional office or residential buildings. However, given that the tower behaves as a slender, open-lattice structure, some of the serviceability performance criteria were too conservative and after consultation with stakeholders, these were subsequently relaxed.

As a result, clear communication between the design and construction teams, supported with sound technical evidence, delivered an outcome that would allow the design team maximum flexibility.

Among the biggest challenges for the design team was addressing the issue of typhoons, which occur seasonally in Macau. In particular, the design team had to ensure it made the correct critical wind loading calculations for the tower in the event of a direct hit from a typhoon.

To do so, the team used the Equivalent Static Wind Loads (ESWL) approach developed for towers to determine the critical wind loads and ran a series of studies to investigate the wind-induced dynamic response at the tower’s top peak at various wind speeds. They then looked at the subsequent impact on human comfort in terms of potential vibrations.

Thorough investigations and scenario planning allowed the project team to ensure not only an aesthetically pleasing and accurate design, but also a safe one.

The tower opened in September 2016, and is set to become both a landmark feature and a popular observation point, offering guests and visitors alike spectacular views of Macau’s bustling Cotai Strip.

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