Iraq To Build World's Tallest Tower

Iraq To Build World's Tallest Tower

AMBS Architects was commissioned with a highly confidential project - due to security reasons until recently - in Basra, Iraq. Home to a bulk of Iraq's oil reserves, the province is becoming one of the fastest-growing business centers in the world (and most precious per square meter). The new downtown master plan was assigned by the Basra governorate with an aim of maximizing the city's capacity by 2025. Avoiding urban sprawl was the top priority in order to protect the environment, thus posing the preference to build vertically, rather than outwards. The scheme for the downtown area will feature a one of a kind landmark to match its importance called The Bride tower.

The brief developed into four conjoined towers creating a more logical and stable structure with multiple accesses and escape routes via horizontal and vertical circulations. Tower 1, located on the south side, is the tallest, and is shaded by a glazed canopy known as 'the veil'. The towers are connected at many levels creating "sky gardens" and "sky squares".

The Bride will be the first vertical city in the world. It will also be the tallest structure there is and will break new ground in all disciplines of engineering: from structures to vertical transportation and services. It will keep a constant typical section from top to bottom, which gives maximum space efficiency and repetition, reducing the costs. Furthermore, it's designed to be a "round the clock" city, with offices, hotels, whole neighborhoods, commercial centers, sky-squares, parks, gardens and its own rail network.

The design responds to the external environment strategically positioning the structures in a way that they can shade one another. The south facade of tower 1 will be almost completely cloaked by a canopy that extends over 600 thousand square meters, covering low-rise buildings, public areas and the first floors of the high-rise. Apart from shading and cooling for the south facade of tower 1, the "veil" will integrate hybrid solar cooling PVT panels (a photovoltaic-thermal combined system). The water heated within these panels will be used to increase the performance of the photovoltaics, and which will subsequently be fed to absorption chillers. the heat provided to the generator will drive a cycle that produces chilled water for cooling.

The city of Basra and its surrounding lands have been historically fertile and capable of producing abundant vegetation and agricultural crops. This reputation earned it the name "the bride of the gulf" by local people. The "bride tower" project takes its name to reference this saying and aims to convey the idea at many levels.