UN Studio, working with engineer and architect Werner Sobek, has begun construction on an interesting new supertall skyscraper in Dubai. Named Wasl Tower, the mixed-use building stands out from the many skyscrapers in that part of the world with its ceramic facade, unusual form, and integrated solar-powered lighting system.

The Wasl Tower is being built on a prominent site near the Burj Khalifa and will reach a total height of 302 m (990 ft). It sports an attractive design inspired by the contrapposto pose and will gently twist as it rises, with a seam of vertically-stacked balconies running its length, and swimming pools on its rooftop terrace.

The skyscraper's intricate ceramic facade will shade the building's interior with fins while reflecting some daylight inside. The facade's solar-powered lighting system sounds pretty high-tech, too.

"Facade lighting housed behind the fins and developed with Arup Lighting, is programmed as a rhythmic animation that breathes with the cadence of this 24-hour metropole and provides a visual connection to the city," says UN Studio. "This facade lighting is powered [by] the energy cube PV panels located on the car park building."

UN Studio says that once it's completed, Wasl Tower will be the world's tallest ceramic facade, though KPF recently completed the far taller Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre in China, which is clad in glazed terracotta.

Inside, the building will measure 106,534 sq m (1,146,722 sq ft) of floorspace, split between offices, guest rooms, public areas and apartments. Mandarin Oriental will operate a luxury hotel with over 250 rooms. A total of 17 elevators will allow people to get around.

The project will also include an adjacent low-rise car-park building that hosts the solar panels for powering the lighting system as well as a ballroom on the first floor. The roof of the car park will boast a large outdoor pool deck and be connected to the skyscraper by a pedestrian bridge.

Construction on the Wasl Tower is expected to be completed sometime in 2020.

Source: UN Studio

View gallery - 5 images