WUHAN, China — Two skyscrapers are to begin construction within the next several years in China. Not only will the buildings become the tallest in the world, they will represent a beacon of hope for environmentally friendly development.
Designed by London-based Chetwoods Architects, the buildings will stretch up more than half a mile above Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province. Architect Laurie Chetwood emphasized that the project was more than simply an architectural statement but more importantly, about preserving the fragile region.
Wuhan is heavily populated, with over 8 million residents. The area is notorious for pollution both in the air and in surrounding lakes.
The towers will have the capability to clean air and water of surrounding areas. There will be a “thermal chimney” in the center of the tallest tower. This chimney will first be heated by the sun (drawing air from across the lakes) and then be used to cool the buildings.
Next, the air will be filtered and churned back into the environment in a cleaner form. The buildings will follow this same process with the water, cleansing it and putting it back into the lakes. The water goes up through a series of filters utilizing passive energy.
“You can imagine the pressure those lakes are under, with a huge dense city growing around them,” stated Chetwood.
Chetwood summed up one of the main goals of the tower’s water system stating, “we thought we could not only attract attention with the towers but also breathe life, literally, onto the lakes.”
A kaleidoscope operated by a wind turbine will sit on the taller of the two towers offering an aesthetically pleasing sight as well as electricity for the project. In fact this turbine will not only completely power the other tower, but will provide enough electricity to spare some for the surrounding district as well.
Power is generated through the wind turbines, the lightweight solar cladding and hydrogen fuel cells running on the building’s waste.
The smaller of the two towers will feature the world’s tallest vertical garden, a “green wall” that will scale the entire face of the building all the way to the top.
The futuristic phoenix towers will draw on Chinese culture, using the phoenix as a metaphor. The two building symbolize two birds, one male and one female, feeding off one another for the benefit of all. The bright pink color is an illusion to the Chinese Fuchsia flower.
Apart from aiding the environment, the buildings will provide stunning views for tourists. There will be giant planet-like globes that connect the two towers, providing restaurants and viewing platforms for visitors.
The pink towers will surpass the world’s current largest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and are expected to become a huge tourist attraction for travelers; setting a good example in the process for the need for an increasingly green world.
– Caroline Logan