The Pin: Spiraling 430-foot observation tower planned for Phoenix
By Donna Taylor
February 10, 2013
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 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.
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.