The architecture firm OXO Architectes from Paris, working with Nicolas Laisné Associés, has recently presented their vision for a “vertical city” skyscraper, which they would like to build in the Sahara desert. This mixed-use tower would be the perfect solution for sustainable living in the desert, and it would be able to comfortably house a large number of people.
Needless to say, this tower is like something straight out of the future. It would run on renewable resources including solar power, geothermal energy and rainwater collection.
The structure is called the City Sand Tower and the plans call for it to rise to a height of 1,476 ft (450 m). It would also have a much larger footprint that Dubai’s famous Burj Khalifa skyscraper and have a total footprint of 192 acres (78 hectares).
The interior of the building would feature a central inner tower that would be covered with vegetation and which would be used as a vertical garden to grow all the needed vegetables for the inhabitants. About 22 percent of the interior floor space of the City Sand Tower would be occupied by businesses as office space, while another 17.5 percent would be used as a hotel and 600 individual housing units. The rest of the floor space would house a shopping center, conference rooms, a museum, a spa, a bar and restaurant, and a sports area. The tower would also feature a meteorological observatory, and have a heliport on top.
The sustainable technology proposed is also very futuristic. The designers predict that 1,589,160 cubic ft (45,000 cubic meters) of rainwater could be collected annually, despite the tower’s desert location. Also, the tower would be inserted about 2.4 miles (4 km) into the ground, where water would be turned into steam by the earth’s heat. The steam would then be transported to the surface, where it would be used to power a generator, which would produce the necessary electricity and hot water. In addition, the rainwater would also be used to flush toilets and irrigate the vertical garden, while a greywater recycling system would also be in place. Solar panels would also be used to harvest energy, while natural ventilation would be used to control the interior temperature.
The architects would like to begin work on the project in 2025, and estimate that it would take about 50 years to finish.