ZPO tower Dubai - stunning and sustainable
By Jeff Salton
June 29, 2009
From the land of opulence – Dubai - comes another amazing feat of architecture and engineering to add to the emirate’s extravagant skyline. The spiraling tubular design for the Za'abeel Park Observation (ZPO) Tower incorporates roof gardens, extensive solar paneling and geothermal cooling and ventilation in an organically inspired structure topped by three observation deck "petals".
This pattern displayed in the creative use of the granite paving, lines of grass, flowers and trees, and a “ribbon of water” that draws one in and through the base of the ZPO Tower. On a larger scale, the same pattern is used to divide four distinct landforms around the base of the tower, creating different pathways and approaches to the base which will house parking, a conference center, children’s library and service areas.
Atop the tower three observation decks in the shape of "petals" are oriented towards specific views and directions that focus on the past and future of Dubai. The first petal points to Mecca, the second petal affords views of the historic Deira town and the observation deck on the third petal delivers patrons a view of Dubai’s changing skyline along Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Road.
Linking the top of the tower to the base is a gently twisted nest of tubes that help give the tower its unique look. There are six tubes set in a 30m diameter, with three inner tubes and three outer tubes. The inner tubes comprise the circulation system for the tower; one containing the elevators, one containing an open stair and one containing an enclosed, fire-rated emergency egress stair. These three inner tubes also provide structural support for the dynamic configuration of the three outer tubes.
From a sustainability angle, the tower is to be built as a net zero energy building. To achieve this, Xten, the architects, has incorporated into its design a number of green initiatives such as:
- geothermal cooling and ventilation;
- all the water used on the site will be recycled;
- several hundred square meters of solar film to generate solar power;
- green roofs (including gardens) to reduce solar gain; and
- the majority of the building materials will come from recycled sources.
Estimates are that the solar energy alone will generate enough electricity to illuminate and power the building.