Santiago Calatrava won with a timeless and unique architectural design for the new landmark observation tower in the Dubai Creek Harbor that is inspired by the natural forms of the lily and evokes the shape of a minaret, a distinctive architectural feature in Islamic culture.
all images courtesy of Emaar and Santiago Calatrava
From the architects: The iconic structure combines modern, sustainable design with the rich culture and heritage of the UAE. The building’s numerous observation decks are part of an elongated, oval-shaped bud at the top of the tower. The slender stem serves as the spine of the structure and the cables linking the building to the ground are reminiscent of the delicate ribbing of the lily’s leaves. The structure also provides a beacon of light at night, with lighting that will emphasize the flower-bud design of the building.
"It has been an enormous honor to participate in this project. My team and I greatly appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with a renowned firm like Emaar Properties,” said Mr. Calatrava. “The building’s design is inspired by the Islamic tradition, evoking the same history that brought the world the Alhambra and the Mosque of Cordoba. These architectural marvels combine elegance and beauty with math and geometry. The design of the tower of Dubai Creek Harbor is rooted in classical art and the culture of Dubai itself. It is also a major technological achievement. Throughout my career I have used technology and engineering as a vehicle for beauty and art. 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. It is a symbol of belief in progress."
The design of the tower will be focus on energy efficiency and sustainability. The tower will use a highly-efficient cooling system and the water collected from this system will clean the structure’s façade. Elegant landscaping and vegetation will encourage solar protection. An integrated shading system and wing doors will also contribute to energy efficiency.
The structure will include ten observation decks, including The Pinnacle Room, which offers unprecedented, 360 degree views of the city and beyond. Among the various decks are two VIP observation garden decks, made to recreate the splendor of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Eight Wonders of the Ancient World.
The building will also include numerous balconies that rotate outside the façade of the tower. There will be a café on one of the three public observation decks and numerous spaces throughout the building can be used for events. The tower’s ground-level Central Plaza will serve as a bustling neighborhood center with world-class retail, a museum, educational facilities, and an indoor auditorium.