Santiago Calatrava tower in Dubai could be taller than the Burj Khalifa

The slender structure will have 10 observation platforms, two Hanging Garden decks, and a illuminating flower bud at the top.

April 12, 2016 |

The tower of Dubai Creek Harbour, designed by Santiago Calatrava. Renderings courtesy Santiago Calatrava. Click here to enlarge picture.

Renderings have been released for a Santiago Calatrava-designed observation tower in Dubai that, according to developers, will be a “notch taller” than the world’s tallest building. 

Calatrava worked with Emaar Developments to design the tower of Dubai Creek Harbour. Though an exact height hasn’t been announced, it is slated to be taller than Dubai’s 2,717-foot Burj Khalifa. 

The tower will have a slender stem and a oval-shaped bulb at the top. It will have rotating balconies and 10 observation decks, including the The Pinnacle Room, which will provide 360-degree views of the city. Two garden decks will recreate the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Its shape is inspired both by minarets, the distinctive spire featured in Islamic culture, and by flower buds. Cables will link the building to the ground, which is intended to look like the ribbing of a lily’s leaves. The bud at the top of the tower will light up at night.

“This project is an artistic achievement, inspired by the goal of making this space a meeting point for citizens, not only from Dubai and the UAE but all across the world,” Calatrava said in a statement. “It is a symbol of belief in progress."


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Water collected from a highly-efficient cooling system will clean the structure’s façade. A museum, auditorium, and retail spaces are planned for the base of the tower.

“It integrates not just design excellence but also strong environmental and smart-tech considerations,” Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, said in a statement. “With the tower, we are delivering a compelling destination that will add long-term economic value to Dubai and the Emirates.”

According to Curbed, Emaar Developments estimated that the tower would cost $1 billion, and that the goal is for it to be completed by the 2020 World Expo that will be held in Dubai.


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