Aarian Marshall is a transportation reporter at WIRED and former CityLab contributor. She lives in San Francisco.
The world’s tallest free-standing clock tower will go up in the southern Indian city of Mysore.
UC Berkeley’s Campanile, a tower that boasts a helpful clock, is 307 feet tall. London’s Big Ben—which is technically the name of the clock and not the tower, but stick with me—soars to 316 feet. Old Joe, on the campus of the U.K.’s University of Birmingham, is the rumored inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien’s Tower of Orthanc, and the world’s tallest free standing clock tower at 361 feet.
But not, perhaps, for long. Old Joe can keep Tolkien, but the the IT company Infosys has announced plans to build the new tallest free standing clock tower in the southern Indian city of Mysore. Its height? A record-smashing 443 feet.
Infosys claims its Mysore training campus is the largest in the world, so it makes sense to build yet another bigger and better thing. “Clock towers symbolize perfection, discipline, and the way we do our work," Infosys Executive Vice-President Ramadas Kamath told the BBC.
The Mysore tower’s Gothic style will be supported by some very 21st-century technology: a digital clock face, which an Infosys spokesperson told the Hindustan Times can also be used to display messages—a cheery holiday greeting, for example. Once completed, the tower will also host 19 stories of meeting rooms, a visitor lounge, a place to grab a bite, and viewing galleries.
The tower will be prefabricated in the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu before being erected in Mysore. The construction is expected to take about 20 months, the BBC reports.