Phoenix Towers: The World’s Next Tallest Tower?
China can already boast the world’s longest bridge (Jiaozhou Bay bridge, 26.4 miles) and the world’s largest dam (Three Gorges Dam), but now it could be adding “the world’s tallest building” to their list of accomplishments.
Two buildings have been designed by UK-based architectural firm Chetwoods Architects for the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei, and have been named Phoenix Towers after the phoenix symbol that denotes dualism in the country’s culture, the Chinese phoenix, “Fenghuang”, the union of yin and yang.
“[We have been asked] to create an iconic building for Wuhan,” explained the company’s chairperson Laurie Chetwood, “which embodied a strong environmental and social content as well as reflecting Chinese tradition.”
The towers have been devised as more of a tourist attraction, but will hold restaurants located in three big spheres suspended between the towers to look as if they are in orbit. The buildings will also be sitting in the middle of a lake on their own little island, but will be incredibly environmentally friendly.
The taller of the two towers is the one that will be in the record books if approval is obtained and the buildings are built on time, in or around 2017 or 2018. This tower is expected to reach the dizzying heights of a kilometre, 0.6 miles.
One of the aspects of the towers that will add to their uniqueness is their self-sustainability. Thermal chimneys have been incorporated into the design, to draw in air and filter it while at the same time generating electricity. Biomass boilers will also play a role, recycling waste from the towers. Ultimately, the tallest tower will be able to generate enough power to fulfill its own needs, with any leftovers going towards the smaller tower and neighbouring areas. Various other environmentally-friendly ideas, such as an insect hotel and suspended air gardens, are also part of the plans.
“This landmark project will showcase social, economic and environmental sustainability within China,” a statement about the project reads on Chetwoods’ website, “providing an entertaining and instructive experience for local people and visitors.”
Something else that Phoenix Towers could potentially pride themselves on is the tallest kaleidoscope in the world, which would be powered by a wind turbine, projecting colours into the sky for people to gaze up at from the ground.
And while the towers most certainly will be “green”, the intention is for the buildings to be a fetching pink colour, which Mr Chetwood has said is to reflect the pinkish hues of the sunsets in the region.
The project is still awaiting final approval from Wuhan’s government, but if all goes to plan Phoenix Towers could beat Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Tower to the top spot – that tower is also expected to reach one kilometre tall, but isn’t scheduled for completion until 2019.