Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava has released new details concerning his planned observation tower in Dubai. Due for completion in 2020, the megatall tower will reportedly be even taller than the world's current tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.

Slated for location in Dubai Creek Harbor, the Dubai Observation Tower draws some inspiration from the traditional Islamic minaret and the lily plant, and takes the overall form of a dart, rising to a fine point at its top.

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The structure will feature an elongated oval-shaped "bud" toward its top comprising ten observation decks (three of which will be open to the public), each offering 360 views of Dubai. It will be supported by a network of cables anchored into the ground, lending it a somewhat elegant appearance.

Two VIP observation decks will be decorated in greenery in an attempt to recreate something of the experience of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The tower will also sport rotating balconies and numerous event spaces. Its ground-level will feature retail spaces, education facilities and an auditorium.

Calatrava is keen to cite the tower's energy-efficiency and sustainability. While the details at present are very slim, an interesting-sounding cooling system will use collected water to clean the structure's facade. Extensive vegetation will be used for solar protection, in addition to an integrated shading system.

There's still no official word on the observation tower's height, but the BBC reports that it will be a "notch" taller than the Burj Khalifa. If so, that will make it in excess of 828 m (2,716 ft) tall, possibly giving it bragging rights as the world's tallest building – providing it isn't beaten to the punch by the Kingdom Tower. The BBC also states the construction budget is US$1 billion.

Sources: Santiago Calatrava, Emaar Properties


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