This week, the world’s tallest statue was completed in the Indian state of Gujarat. Four times the size of the Statue of Liberty, the monument serves to commemorate the life of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel; a key figure in uniting a divided India after the country freed itself from British colonial rule in 1947.
Known as the founding father of the Republic of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was instrumental in ensuring the peaceful integration of the princely Indian states into the Indian Union and the political unification of India.
Designed by Indian sculptor Ram V Sutar, the statue stands at a huge 182 metres high, dominating the skies around it. Creating a statue of this scale also provides it’s fair share of challenges and obstacles.
Made out of scrap metal collected from around the country, the firm behind the construction, Michael Graves Architecture and Design, had to carefully ensure the structual qualities of the mammoth monument.
“As you can imagine with a project of this scale and level of complexity, there were several challenges to overcome,” James Wisniewski, principal of Michael Graves Architecture & Design and project leader on the Statue of Unity.
“One of the challenges was to create the statue in the walking pose while balancing the programmatic layout and function of the building’s core and structure. Luckily, Sardar Patel wore a traditional Indian dhoti of draped fabric, which allowed our team to design the elevator towers in a staggered fashion while giving the proper external appearance,” he added.
“However, with sandal-clad feet and exposed ankles, the statue is thinner at the base than at upper levels, the opposite of what is typically done.”