Architecture

The Pin: Spiraling 430-foot observation tower planned for Phoenix

The Pin: Spiraling 430-foot ob...
BIG have designed the structure to stand as a metaphorical pin (Image: BIG)
BIG have designed the structure to stand as a metaphorical pin (Image: BIG)
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The Pin will use LED lights for night-time illumination (Image: BIG)
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The Pin will use LED lights for night-time illumination (Image: BIG)
Visitors can take in views of amazing sunsets in the Valley of the Sun (Image: BIG)
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Visitors can take in views of amazing sunsets in the Valley of the Sun (Image: BIG)
BIG have designed the structure to stand as a metaphorical pin (Image: BIG)
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BIG have designed the structure to stand as a metaphorical pin (Image: BIG)
The summit of the tower will be accessed by three glass elevators (Image: BIG)
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The summit of the tower will be accessed by three glass elevators (Image: BIG)
The tower hopes to become an icon of the Phoenix skyline (Image: BIG)
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The tower hopes to become an icon of the Phoenix skyline (Image: BIG)
Visitors can relax in the pin head and enjoy views of Phoenix and beyond (Image: BIG)
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Visitors can relax in the pin head and enjoy views of Phoenix and beyond (Image: BIG)
The tower will include retail, restaurant and exhibition spaces (Image: BIG)
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The tower will include retail, restaurant and exhibition spaces (Image: BIG)
The space inside the pin head with have multiple functions (Image: BIG)
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The space inside the pin head with have multiple functions (Image: BIG)
An towers spiraling viewing decks from above (Image: BIG)
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An towers spiraling viewing decks from above (Image: BIG)
BIG have designed a 430 ft observation tower for Phoenix, Arizona (Image: BIG)
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BIG have designed a 430 ft observation tower for Phoenix, Arizona (Image: BIG)
A visual breakdown of the planned multiple functionality (Image: BIG)
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A visual breakdown of the planned multiple functionality (Image: BIG)
A diagram illustrating the towers downtown location (Image: BIG)
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A diagram illustrating the towers downtown location (Image: BIG)
BIG’s design is inspired by the Guggenheim museum, creating the inverse of its iconic spiral walkways (Image: BIG)
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BIG’s design is inspired by the Guggenheim museum, creating the inverse of its iconic spiral walkways (Image: BIG)
BIG's models demonstrate the gentle slope of the walkways (Image: BIG)
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BIG's models demonstrate the gentle slope of the walkways (Image: BIG)
The new addition to Arizona’s capital city will be a 430 ft (131 m) high tower topped by a giant sphere sliced into a spiraling open air observation deck (Image: BIG)
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The new addition to Arizona’s capital city will be a 430 ft (131 m) high tower topped by a giant sphere sliced into a spiraling open air observation deck (Image: BIG)
A view of the spiral walkway from below (Image: BIG)
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A view of the spiral walkway from below (Image: BIG)
The design has already been suggested to resemble a number of items such as a large honey dipper (Image: BIG)
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The design has already been suggested to resemble a number of items such as a large honey dipper (Image: BIG)
Continuous glass panels will protect visitors from any adverse weather (Image: BIG)
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Continuous glass panels will protect visitors from any adverse weather (Image: BIG)
The Pin will be Phoenix’s second tallest tower, below the 483 ft (147.2 mt) Chase Tower (Image: BIG)
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The Pin will be Phoenix’s second tallest tower, below the 483 ft (147.2 mt) Chase Tower (Image: BIG)
BIG highlight the project as “in progress” on their information page, and the estimated cost is US $60 million (Image: BIG)
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BIG highlight the project as “in progress” on their information page, and the estimated cost is US $60 million (Image: BIG)
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The city of Phoenix wants to mark its place on the map, quite literally, with a new observation tower dubbed “The Pin.” Designed by Danish architecture studio BIG, the new addition to Arizona’s capital city will manifest itself as 430 ft (131 m) high tower topped by a giant sphere sliced into a spiraling open air observation deck that enables visitors to enjoy 360-degree views of Phoenix and the “Valley of the Sun.”

Located in downtown Phoenix, BIG’s design is inspired by the Guggenheim museum, creating the inverse of its iconic spiral walkways.

The tower will be constructed from reinforced concrete and use three glass elevators to transport visitors to the top of the observation deck, from where they can gradually descend the spiral ramps that provide the widest viewing platform at the middle section of the "pin head." The project will provide an area of 70,000 sq. ft. (6503 sq. mt.) which will incorporate exhibition spaces, shops and restaurants, both in the pin head and around the new public square planned at its base.

The summit of the tower will be accessed by three glass elevators (Image: BIG)
The summit of the tower will be accessed by three glass elevators (Image: BIG)

The Pin will be Phoenix’s second tallest tower, below the 483 ft (147.2 m) Chase Tower, and hopes to serve as a working model of sustainable energy practice through the use of LED lights for night-time illumination and solar technologies.

BIG have designed a 430 ft observation tower for Phoenix, Arizona (Image: BIG)
BIG have designed a 430 ft observation tower for Phoenix, Arizona (Image: BIG)

The design has already been suggested to resemble a number of items from a toilet brush to, more politely, a large honey dipper. Whatever the feedback, it seems certain to serve its purpose as a memorable city landmark in the future. There are currently no published construction dates, however, BIG highlight the project as “in progress” on its information page, and the estimated cost is US$60 million.

Source: BIG via Architizer

View gallery - 20 images
10 comments
David Clarke
To be strictly correct, this is not a spiral but a helix.I have visions of a lot of base jumping going on, and the unprotected railing looks decidedly unsafe. A possible feature they could have would be glass flooring on the walkway (like the viewing platform at the Grand Canyon) only for the brave! well, maybe just a short section at the lower portion. Perhaps they could fit a slide as well from the top to the bottom of the pathway. Rainbow pulsing LEDs would look fantastic by night. And to finish things off: How about making the tower out of glass and steel instead of concrete?.
Buellrider
They should shoot for at least 2,000 feet up and put high end condos up there. Make the ball way larger. City in the sky, above the smog. Wake up in the clouds. 430 feet is not high enough.
piperTom
It's just MUST be government funded, a useless extravagance, but a tall place for some politician to put his name on.
Bruce H. Anderson
Phoenix has added itself to the list of cities with an edifice complex. So for $60 mill you get a view of urban sprawl.
Chris K
Just what a broke city needs to spend money on. Christ, between the expansion of a light rail that heavily subsidizes every user and this; it's like they are having a competition on how to waste my money in the most trivial way.
Gregg Eshelman
I bet the architect is a fan of Schlock Mercenary. The design reminds me of a scale model of the shirt pin building on the terraformed Moon in that webcomic.
slayerwulfe
U have 2 promote Urself don't be too critical, i admit the Phoenix rising 400 ft. isn't going to slay that many competitive dragons. it's not a politicians name that will be on parade but a business. we should be thankful for that. slayerwulfe cave
Kwazai
SIM- City (copter with the cheat codes?) . Always wondered what the materials would need to be
430 feet- run a chimney off a greenhouse at the bottom- might come close to paying the bills with a little solar steam. even guy wired to keep it from swaying with a larger 'Horton hears a who' top on it- wuld be pretty unique-better if it were low sloped enough for slow speed luge. could always run it to the ground around the elevator. concentric spoked like SBP designs maybe. Use a few empty elevator shafts to power it.
Ardis Lille
About that open-air deck...Phoenix is pretty hot six months of the year. Locals who are used to it probably won't mind the few times they visit, but tourists may mind-- what tourists there are in the summer. The city has a perfect opportunity to explore and demonstrate how other regions could handle climate change phenomena, like drought. I'd go for expertise rather than exhibitionism.
Gregg DesElms
Uh, huh. And what about the jumpers? The Golden Gate Bridge, out here in my neck of the woods, gets, on average, a jumper (suicide) every two weeks. This Phoenix helix thing seems like it would be even more attractive, what with its open-air design and nothing but a normal-height glassed railing to separate a jumper from liquifying himself on the concrete 483 feet below. Berta certainly ain't cleanin' THAT up.