In Dubai, bigger is always better. Want a futuristic drone race with $1 million in prizes? Done. The worlds tallest building and a series of man-made islands? Check. Up next: A planned 3,000-feet building that will dwarf the Burj Khalifa by almost 300 feet, and simply goes by “The Tower.”
Emaar Properties, The Tower’s construction company, officially unveiled the building in April. Construction has just begun, but when The Tower is completed in mid-2020, Emaar says it will be more than 3,000-feet high and will have cost around $1 billion, according to Emirates 24/7.
Architect Santiago Calatrava drew inspiration for the slender, graceful spire from a lily. A thin central concrete column will be topped with an oval bud, and a web of steel cables that represent the ribs of a lily leaf will support the structure. At the top, the “Pinnacle Room” viewing platform will have a hotel, gardens, meeting rooms, restaurants, and a 360-view from the top of the man-made world.
“The bud will serve as a beacon of light at night, with a lighting system that will evoke the features of a flower bud, as it seemingly hovers atop the structure,” Aurecon, an Australian company working with Calatrava in the construction, writes in a statement.
The flower bud seems apt, but the design also looks a little like a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, so take your pick. And if the video’s giant Christmas-tree aesthetic translates well from the concept design, the whole thing could be a shining opposite of Steven King’s infamous Dark Tower.
Dubai, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is also home to the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, which was completed in 2010. But the Burj’s record is about to fall, when the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia finishes construction in 2018. Still, if The Tower goes up on schedule, the record won’t stay out of Dubai for long.
“Built to exceed all limits, the Emaar website states, “the new icon of the 21st century will become a part of your lifestyle, a friendly face that guides you home.”
The building is more about spectacle than making a usable building. The mission statement for the building is to “design a monument of prolific elegance and artistry, Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar said in a video when the tower was announced in April. Alabbar said The Tower will “add value to” and “celebrate the world” (ostensibly by just being really pretty and really, really big).
Of course, building an enormous tower in the middle of the Persian Gulf’s punishing climate isn’t easy. Aurecon says that landscaping will help mitigate solar damage, and water from the cooling system will be used to clean The Tower’s facade.
Alabbar says that the idea behind The Tower is to use “technology as a vehicle to beauty, and technology as a vehicle to art.”
The Tower is about combining cutting-edge technology and art, and Alabbar says, adding that the idea is to use “technology as a vehicle to beauty, and technology as a vehicle to art.”
The Tower is “inspired by the idea of welcoming people,” Calatrava notes in the announcement video. “Of sending a signal not only to our neighbors, to Dubai, and to the Emirates, but to the whole world.” Watch the full video below: