Prestigious skyscraper for Monaco

The only way is up, as the Principality decides to build into the sky rather than out into the sea.

A huge building project in the Annonciade district of Monaco was given the green light by the Conseil National (Monaco's parliament) in February. Work is scheduled to begin in April on a new 49 floor skyscraper called the Odeon Tower (Tour Odeon) that will house space for living and working. Major heavy construction will be carried out during the school holidays in July and August, although plans are still being finalised in order to reduce the pollution and upheaval that the works traffic is likely to cause.

In return for permission to build on state owned land, the developers are providing about 180 apartments for Monegasque nationals. And of course, the tower will conform to high environmental standards, designed to reduce energy requirements and using solar panels on the roof.

It's envisaged that the project will generate 500 milliion euros of work and 100 million euros in VAT, a very welcome economic benefit in these times of doom and gloom. The work is estimated to take 54 months, finishing in spring 2014. It's also great publicity for Monegasque architect Alexandre Giraldi, who not only designed this skyscraper, but was also on Norman Foster's winning team that's now building the new Yacht Club. Promotion will be handled by another local enterprise, the Marzocco Group, and other Monaco businesses are likely to benefit from working as partners.