XTEN Architecture recently unveiled an elegantly spiraling observation tower that stands to make an incredible new addition to Dubai’s skyline. Dubbed the ZPO Tower, the structure features a beautiful latticed facade inspired by traditional motifs, and includes plans for solar film, geothermal heating and cooling, a green roof, and grey water recycling. The tower is designed to be constructed from mostly recycled materials at net zero energy, and it can generate enough solar energy to completely power itself!
According to XTEN Architecture, the woven design featured in the tower’s tubes is inspired by traditional patterns that relate to the Islamic religion. The tubes unfurl at the top of the structure in a trio of petals that are “oriented towards specific views and directions that resonate with both the past and future of Dubai. The first petal is aligned with Mecca, to the Southwest of the project site. Moving clockwise at the top of the ZPO Tower, the second petal is directed toward the old town of Deira, a neighborhood of traditional souks, mosques, old fortress walls and wind towers. From the observation deck in the third petal of the tower one surveys the changing skyline along Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Road.”
The structure was designed for the ThyssenKrupp Elevator Company, who asked architects around the globe to design an observation tower for Dubai’s Za’abeel Technology Park for their eleventh architecture competition.
Even though XTEN Architecture went to great lengths to ensure this structure’s sustainability, we couldn’t help but be a bit critical of the tower’s functionality. Observation towers seem to be a bit of a luxury in the architectural world these days, due to decreased tourism and a shortage of steel and other resources. Across the board, we might soon be seeing a shortage of beautiful structures that don’t serve a daily function.