UNStudio and Werner Sobek have unveiled plans for a new Dubai skyscraper guaranteed to turn heads with its twisted form and a ceramic-tile façade said to be the world’s tallest. Sculptural and functional, the beautiful Wasl Tower will cut down on energy costs with its use of solar panels and optimization of natural light. Hotel group Mandarin Oriental will operate the mixed-use skyscraper that will comprise a 250-room five-star hotel along with offices, residences, and public spaces.
Located near the Burj Khalifa on the Sheikh Zayed Road, the 300-meter-tall Wasl Tower stands out from Dubai’s rigid and cold metal-and-glass skyline. The sinuous and asymmetric skyscraper will use a programmed lighting system tucked behind the facade’s fin-shaped ceramic tiles—angled to provide shade and let in filtered natural light—and make the building look as if it were breathing at night. The lights will be powered with solar panels installed atop the car park.
Glazing runs up along the full-height of the building like a curved, open seam and houses outdoor balconies and greenery in a “vertical boulevard” that culminates in a top-floor infinity pool. Seventeen elevators will service the building and its diverse stacked programs. “As the project strongly relates to and interconnects with Dubai’s urban experience, the aim is to make a visit to the Wasl Tower as attractive and contemporary as possible,” said UNStudio founder Ben van Berkel. “”As such, a dedicated concept of health, comfort and well-being throughout was developed for the building.” Wasl Tower is slated for completion in 2020.