SUSTAINABLE SPIRE: Twisting Ivory Observation Tower for Dubai

by , 06/17/09
filed under: Architecture

sustainable design, green design, xten architecture, thyssenkrupp elevator company, za'abeel technology park, geothermal heating green roof, water recycling

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!

sustainable design, green design, xten architecture, thyssenkrupp elevator company, za'abeel technology park, geothermal heating green roof, water recycling

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.

+ XTEN Architecture

Via Archdaily

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  1. jitubhaipatel July 25, 2012 at 12:23 am


  2. davidwayneosedach June 19, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    The twisting Ivory Observation tower is absolutely spectacular. How much energy is needed to keep it up and running?

  3. ecologism June 17, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    An observation tower does seem a bit of a luxury but it’s not like the wealth isn’t available…at least they did make it the way they did, who’s to say you can’t make a building strictly for aesthetic or artistic purposes especially if you take such pains to make it eco-friendly.
    For instance one of the buildings that won the AIA’s top ten in the U.S. was a jewish church. I guess that’s wasteful too seeing as though it only serves religion. If something doesn’t serve a life necessity…or economic activity does that make it a useless luxery? What if it was a green bowling alley? would it warrant similar comment?
    Check out the church I mentioned at
    -The Ecologist

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