China is currently reviewing plans from UK architecture firm Chetwoods that would allow China to build the tallest, and most eco-friendly, building ever. Standing at a full kilometer (3,281 feet), the tower is significantly taller than the current highest tower, the Burj Khalifa which stands at 2,717 feet. The plans, called “Phoenix Towers,” are also posed to solve the severe pollution problems in the country.
The name “Phoenix Towers” comes from the UK firm’s desire to resurrect the city of Wuhan, China out of its ashes. The towers would use a complex water and air filtration system, collect and utilize wind, solar, and hydrogen power, produce crops from the largest vertical farm in the world, harvest rainwater, boil biomass, house businesses and restaurants, and solve any other ecological problems that face the highly polluted city.
Laurie Chetwood, founder of the architecture firm, said that the tower is meant to be more than a symbol for architectural and ecological progression, but a practical solution to the environmental issues in China. Chetwood said that she, and her team, applied as many environmental ideas as possible to justify the massive size of the structure.
Aside from being an unprecedented ecological tool, the Phoenix Towers are designed to resonate with the local philosophy and religion. The two towers in the project combine Western technology and architecture to the Chinese legends of the phoenix. The two towers represent the dual gender of the mythical bird in Eastern iconography, and the spirit of rebirth is evident throughout the eight hectares of the half-mile high structures.
These inclusions of China’s mythology and philosophy are incorporated by Chetwoods as a vote of confidence to the country to significantly consider building the tallest, and most eco-friendly, structure ever. The towers are designed to attract tourism to boost the economy and reimburse the costs of construction.
The towers are set to be constructed on an artificial island and to have a pink color, to reflect the picturesque sunsets of the area. The project is estimated to cost upwards of $2 billion. Chetwood said that, in China, there is a lot of competition between cities that are trying to out “spectacularize” each other. Wuhan is the largest centralized city in the Eastern country. The Chinese government has been looking for a structure that would put Wuhan on the map and promote tourism. The plans they did receive were scrapped for not being ambitious enough. That is when Chetwoods entered with the most ambitious project in history: Phoenix Towers.
Chetwoods most recently gained success and notoriety for building the solar powered London Bridge. The design for China’s -and the world’s- largest, and most eco-friendly, building ever draws inspiration from ballet dancers and termite mounds for its pointed alignment. The skyscrapers have buttress style roots sweeping upward to create weight distribution and efficiency.
According to Chetwood, over the course of the next three years, Phoenix Towers will move from conception to construction. She stated that she and her team look forward to revolutionizing Wuhan, China, and the world.
By Andres Loubriel