Category Archives: towering pagodas

Burj Dubai: 1,680 Feet High and Rising


That’s right, as of a couple weeks ago the Burj Dubai Tower is the tallest building in the world – currently measuring over 1,680 feet tall [beating out Taiwan's 1,667 foot tall Taipei 101]. While the developer won’t actually disclose information on the exact height being aimed for, estimates are putting it in at somewhere around 2,200 feet.

My Ninjas, Please!

Funny thing – who cares? While breaking the 2,000 foot mark is kind of cool, its interesting to note that countries that have been industrialized and making moves for a long time seem to care less and less about the height of their buildings, as they know height is attainable [or maybe they just actually don't care]. Then up-and-coming areas pop up and fight to attain tallest building status to show the world they’ve made it? I don’t know, my ninjas, but I do know this: I’m not waiting for the next tallest skyscraper to shoot into the sky and scrape the heavens and all that, but instead for a new breakthrough in urban design/development to come around. Aren’t these super tall buildings so 20th century?


BIG – Scala


The Scala library, conference center and hotel project, by BIG [remember them?], is a turning tower rising up to join the existing spires in Copenhagen. Invited to submit a design for this competition, BIG chose to make an attempt at pulling the street-life up along the facade of the building by twisting the volume away from the road.


Stepping the facade back to create a Spanish Steps feeling at the base of the building, the ground plane rises up and around to create the twist in the tower’s form – and it looks as if the base of the structure actually rests [in part] on an existing building, which the ‘steps’ climb up. Pretty siiick.

[Honestly, the post doesn't really need the image above, but I'm just really feeling the simplicity of their diagramming]


The image above [a view of some public space within the building] shows how the stepping would carry through into the building’s interior – creating both an interesting means of brining natural light into the interior spaces, and views into/out of the building between the ‘stairs’ on the facade.

Also, as you may have noticed, we here at MNP have finally gotten YouTube / Google videos to embed in our theme – which is ILL. Here on the architecture site in particular, expect to see longer videos featured every Sunday [documentaries, lectures, whatever coolness I can find].

::all info and images from BIG – video via YouTube [you can also download it from BIG]::

Photo du jour 23.06.2007


Is that tower feeling up its neighbor there? Say it with me now…my ninja, please.

The mixed use skyscraper designed by Groleger Arhitekti is to be located in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina – and actually be one interconnected building formed by the convergence of the pair of hundred meter tall towers.

The aims of the project are to create a hot spot in downtown Sarajevo, a flag-ship project to revitalization of Sarajevo’s urban life and to set a standard for future projects in this area while respecting the neighbouring parliament and establishing a linking path between the administrative and the public through “our” building. The new development will be a starting point for guided tours along the Miljacka river banks to the historical city center of “Bascarsija” and a prime destination for culture, entertainment and shopping.

::image and text via WAN::

Jacques Ferrier : Hypergreen


The Hypergreen tower, designed by Jacques Ferrier for a competition in Paris, is a 250 meter / 60 storey tall mixed-use ‘green’ building [hence 'hypergreen']. The building’s structure emerges as an intricate concrete lattice system, wrapping the facade in the woven pattern and allowing for the floorplates to be nearly column free. This structural system also creates an interesting intermediate space between the building’s glazing, where Ferrier has apparently planned for some exterior gardens / greenery.


What makes the Hypergreen tower green, you ask [other than the name]? How about its:

  • geothermal heat pumps
  • photovoltaic panels
  • integrated wind turbines [seen at the top of the building]
  • earth cooling tubes
  • vegetated sky lobbies
  • a roof garden
  • rainwater recovery system

…and the aforementioned flexible / adaptable column-free floor plates.



::images from Jacques Ferrier Architecte, project via Jetson Green::

::listen to the podcast::

obelisk movements

I put this in the sidenote to spare everyone the rant I was building up about how Europeans shouldn’t be proud of themselves for building obelisks, or moving them for that matter, since they were a few millennia late in the design – and had plenty of practice ‘moving’ them when they ‘discovered’ [read 'stole'] them from the lands of their original designers and builders. Still, this post over at Pruned is pretty interesting, and has some great images worth taking a look at.

Zaha in Dubai : the Opus


More from Dubai! If there’s one thing I can say about the UAE, its that they do fund some kick ass projects with all that money – which is something I can get behind. Here we have a new project by Omniyat Properties, the people who brought us the iPad Tower, this time with a design by starchitect Zaha Hadid. The project, dubbed ‘the Opus‘, will appear to be a distorted cube that is hovering from the ground – a cube formed, it seems, by three separate towers that seem to twist and melt together to form a single volume.

A commercial tower[s], the Opus will have retail for the first few floors – and a ‘tranquility zone’ along the uppermost stories, which will include a rooftop beach deck with a reflecting pool and shaded terrace. Other amenities within the upper floors include a gym and a media zone.


Here’s what Omniyat Properties has to say about the project:

The Opus is an AAA commercial tower in the Business Bay district of Dubai which reflects Omniyat Properties’ passion for innovation as well as the creative genius of the architect Zaha Hadid.

Designed by the award winning architect Zaha Hadid, The Opus will change the way you look at commercial towers.

As a revolutionary concept in offices with AAA-class rating and 87% efficiency, The Opus will combine form and functionality to create an office unlike any other.

The Opus will change the way people look at your organization, if you’re one of the privileged few to have an office in this tower. As with every Omniyat Properties’ project, it is designed to be self sufficient with every amenity and convenience essential to modern day business demands.

::via the dubai life::

ed. note: This is a perfect example of what happens when you sleep on your website, and do things like make headers for new MNP pages rather than updating your page – WAN [or somebody] scoops you. So go check out their article too, here.

bristol eco tower


A 40 storey ‘eco tower’ is being planned for the St. Paul’s area of Bristol.

‘The 600 ft tower is one of three options under consideration for the redevelopment of Dove Lane project in the city.

The site will include 753,000 sq ft of homes, offices and businesses, as well as a doctor’s surgery, outdoor performance area and possibly a 100-room hotel.

The scheme is due to go in for planning early in 2008.’

::More at Building::

dynamic architecture = green architecture


Set to be constructed – of course – in Dubai, this skyscraper designed by architect David Fisher rotates by wind power. But not as a whole – this building rotates by individual floor, creating what Fisher calls ‘dynamic architecture’.

Dynamic Architecture buildings keep modifying their shape. As each floor rotates separately, the form of the building changes constantly; you may not see the same building twice.

Dynamic architecture marks a new era in architecture. This new approach, based on motion dynamics, is in fact a challenge to traditional architecture that until now was based on gravity.

Dynamic Architecture buildings will become the symbol of a new philosophy that will change the look of our cities and the concept of living. From now on, buildings will have a fourth new dimension TIME. Buildings will not be confined to rigid shapes; construction will have a new approach and flexibility. Cities will change faster than we ever imagined. [David Fisher, from]

So I know what you’re thinking – incredibly wasteful, right? Not if Fisher is successful in placing horizontal wind turbines between each of the tower’s floors – providing 48 turbines to power the building’s spinning.


In addition to the horizontal turbines, the building is to be fitted with photovoltaic panels on the roof – generating approximately 7 million dollars worth of electricity every year, according to Fisher.

Each turbine can produce 0.3 megawatt of electricity, compared to 1-1.5 megawatt generated by a normal vertical turbine (windmill). Considering that Dubai gets 4,000 wind hours annually, the turbines incorporated into the building can generate 1,200,000 kilowatt-hour of energy.

As average annual power consumption of a family is estimated to be 24,000 kilowatt-hour, each turbine can supply energy for about 50 families. The Dynamic Architecture tower in Dubai will be having 200 apartments and hence four turbines can take care of their energy needs. The surplus clean energy produced by the remaining 44 turbines can light up the neighborhood of the building. [David Fisher, from]

So, the building doesn’t just power itself and it’s own spinning/rotating – it can also power its surrounding urban area? My ninja, please


What’s with people and spinning buildings?

::all images and info from