Dubai is a hub for bold architecture. It makes sense, then, that Karim Mahmoud Elnabawy Balbaa’s entry in the 2010 Land Art Generator Initiative Design Competition is striking — and slightly off-putting. Balbaa’s prickly-looking “Layers of Dubai” towers shoot up to 140 meters high and generate both wind and solar power.

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Balbaa’s towers were inspired by the fluid shape of the desert sands surrounding Dubai. According to Balbaa, “The two towers play an important role in attracting people to the site with their strange look and height that can be seen from any part of the city”.

The towers feature wind turbines, a solar chimney, electric carbon shafts that generate energy with piezoelectric movement, and “wind waves” that generate power from the spinning of the inner circular cylinders connecting the two towers. Balbaa hasn’t revealed estimates of how much electricity the towers could provide, but we’re guessing it would be enough to make the Layers of Dubai nearly self-sufficient.

+ Land Art Generator