Architecture

The Bride: Basra's ambitious vertical city to become world's tallest building

The Bride: Basra's ambitious v...
The Bride will cover an area of 1,550,000 sq m (16,700,000 sq ft)
The Bride will cover an area of 1,550,000 sq m (16,700,000 sq ft)
View 8 Images
The Bride will cover an area of 1,550,000 sq m (16,700,000 sq ft)
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The Bride will cover an area of 1,550,000 sq m (16,700,000 sq ft)
The Bride will have a 600,000 sq m (6,500,000 sq ft) canopy or "veil" of its south facade to provide shade
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The Bride will have a 600,000 sq m (6,500,000 sq ft) canopy or "veil" of its south facade to provide shade
The Bride will have its own rail system to transport people around the building
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The Bride will have its own rail system to transport people around the building
The Bride will comprise four towers, ranging in height from 244 m (801 ft) to 964 m (3,163 ft), joined together by a series of "sky gardens" and "sky squares"
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The Bride will comprise four towers, ranging in height from 244 m (801 ft) to 964 m (3,163 ft), joined together by a series of "sky gardens" and "sky squares"
The Bride's four-tower design means it has far more routes of access and escape than a conventional tower
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The Bride's four-tower design means it has far more routes of access and escape than a conventional tower
The Bride is designed to make use of Basra's vertical space and to limit urban sprawl
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The Bride is designed to make use of Basra's vertical space and to limit urban sprawl
The Bride is designed for "round the clock" use, with offices, hotels, whole neighbourhoods, commercial centres, sky-squares, parks and gardens
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The Bride is designed for "round the clock" use, with offices, hotels, whole neighbourhoods, commercial centres, sky-squares, parks and gardens
The Bride will be the tallest structure in the world
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The Bride will be the tallest structure in the world
View gallery - 8 images

Basra, Iraq, is known as "the bride of the gulf" after its life-supporting fertile lands, and building vertically is one way to protect those lands. The planned Bride vertical city does just that. Covering 1,550,000 sq m and rising to a world record height of 1,152 m (3,789 ft), this vertical city designed by British-Iraqi architectural firm AMBS will have its own own neighborhoods, schools, clinics and transport system.

Not only will vertical building help to minimize urban spread in Basra, but it will help to make efficient use of space in what AMBS Architects calls one of the fastest growing business centers in the world, and one where space is at a premium. This thinking is baked into a downtown masterplan commissioned by the Basra Governorate, which seeks to maximize the city's capacity by 2025. The Bride will be the centerpiece of this masterplan.

The project began in 2014, but has been kept confidential until now for security purposes. It will cover an area of 1,550,000 sq m (16,700,000 sq ft) and the firm is at pains to make clear that, not only is it a vertical city rather than a tower, but its planned height of 1,152 m (3,789 ft) – which would make it the world's tallest building by a substantial margin – should also not overshadow its other innovations.

The Bride will be the tallest structure in the world
The Bride will be the tallest structure in the world

AMBS says the design seeks to "break new ground in all disciplines of engineering, from structures to vertical transportation and services." To begin with, it actually comprises four towers, ranging in height from 244 m (801 ft) to 964 m (3,163 ft), joined together by a series of "sky gardens" and "sky squares." This gives the structure far more routes of access and escape than a conventional tower and makes it more stable.

The Bride is designed to make use of Basra's vertical space and to limit urban sprawl
The Bride is designed to make use of Basra's vertical space and to limit urban sprawl

The Bride is designed for round the clock use, with offices, hotels, whole neighborhoods, commercial centers, sky-squares, parks, gardens and its own rail network. It will be open for use by all, not only those who live and work there. There will be shaded parks and promenades to walk in, for example, and places to shop and eat.

The Bride's rail service will move people around the huge building. Each tower will have a three-story "sky avenue" containing amenities, services and a train station for its local community. The station will be served by fast double decker lifts, while smaller local shuttle lifts will serve the zones above and below.

The building is also aimed at being net-zero and at being the most environmentally-advanced development in the world. The towers are located in such a way as to shade each other, while the tallest and most exposed tower will be shaded by a 600,000 sq m (6,500,000 sq ft) canopy or "veil" of its south façade.

In addition to providing shade, the canopy will have integrated hybrid solar cooling photovoltaic-thermal panels. Water heated within these will be use to improve the performance of the panels and will them be used to drive a cooling cycle for the building.

The Bride is designed for "round the clock" use, with offices, hotels, whole neighbourhoods, commercial centres, sky-squares, parks and gardens
The Bride is designed for "round the clock" use, with offices, hotels, whole neighbourhoods, commercial centres, sky-squares, parks and gardens

Director of AMBS Marcos De Andres tells Gizmag that the masterplan for Basra, with the Bride as its centerpiece, was approved last year. There is no start or completion date set for the project currently, but it is expected to move forward once economic conditions in the region are more favorable.

The video below provides an introduction to the Bride.

Source: AMBS Architects

The Bride - Basra's Vertical City

View gallery - 8 images
6 comments
Fairly Reasoner
Hard to imagine.
Marc Stinebaugh
Is Iraq really the kind of place you'd want to build something like that? Seems like, maybe, just maybe, the Islamic State might just possibly have had their wet dreams for a target come true.
Cuckoo
World's first Arcology?
I doubt it would ever get built since Iraq has no money, but it's nice to dream.
S Michael
They will have to get a building permit, at a very high price, from ISIS...
Matt Fletcher
Notice the price tag was left out because that would make people realize this project is unaffordable for any country and some of the design ideas are just ridiculous. The idea of making a kilometer high building "Net Zero" is stupid because the country would use up all it's oil profits and resources to build this thing. The canopy alone would require support rafters would be 100's of feet long, 20 ft high and probably a foot thick.
This is a nice design, it's just a dream going nowhere soon.
domhnall
Good luck with that one, guys!