A matched pair of hyper-green, male and female, towers are set to stretch a full kilometre from the ground in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, if a local chemical company and some London architects succeed in a recent architectural proposal.
The Phoenix Towers have been designed by UK-based Chetwoods Architects on behalf of Wuhan’s Huayang Group, and if completed would more than 50 percent taller than the 632-metre Shanghai Tower, which is currently the tallest building in China. The Kingdom Tower project, which is currently underway in Saudia Arabia, is also said to be planned for around one kilometre in height.
China’s First Insect-Friendly Supertall Building
Like the much touted and quickly disappearing supertall Sky City project which was announced last year in Changsha, the Phoenix Towers promise to conquer the world with new technology.
Where Sky City was going to wow us with its speed of construction (the as yet unfinished 220-storey building was originally predicted to take only 270 days to complete), the Phoenix Towers promise an array of environmental features not yet seen in any large scale structures, including biomass boilers and insect hotels.
Said to be the centrepiece of a planned series of four masterplans for making a more environmentally friendly Wuhan, the supertall duo is due to be located on an island within a lake as part of a 47-hectare site.
In a statement, Huayang commented, “We aim to pioneer our new vision via a programme of cultural and creative dialogue and collaboration, embracing a new era and new eclectic style that will make the best of China even better.”
Interdependent Male and Female Towers
According to Chetwoods Architects, the towers’ concept draws on the symbol of the Chinese Phoenix, an entity that combines both the male and female, alongside the Yin/Yang form to represent perfect balance. Chetwoods proposes to implement this ancient concept by making the two towers interdependent, with the male (Feng) tower “feeding” the female “Huang” tower with renewable power.
This renewal energy would be provided through a combination of wind turbines, photovoltaic panels, thermal chimneys and rainwater harvesting built into the structures. The Towers would also include biomass boilers and hydrogen fuel cells to fuel themselves and also support the local community.
Chetwoods Architects explained that, “The scheme will provide an environmental catalyst to re-invigorate the city of Wuhan, actively avoiding the disastrous consequences of developments elsewhere in China. It will form the nucleus of wider green strategy linking Wuhan’s lakes environmentally and socially with the region’s landmark destinations and lake district, along a 20km Green Wall of China to a new lakeside cultural tourist destination.”
With its Eiffel Tower-like lines and feather-esque exterior cladding, the project is certain to at least be a catalyst for conversation. The Phoenix Towers are said to still be in the concept design phase and a completion date has yet to be set.