This week on Mission Implausible: China plans to erect the world’s tallest building and tackle smog in one fell swoop with the proposed “Phoenix Towers” in Wuhan, which will reportedly eclipse Burj Khlifa’s grandeur by 150 meters, and help Wuhan ‘rise from the ashes’ of pollution by doubling as giant pink air purifiers, among other things.
On paper, the UK architecture firm Chetwoods, has proposed something equally as remarkable to the phoenix itself. The structure is proposed to stand a huge 3,281 ft tall, the equivalent of 150 double decker buses piled on top of each other, but it promises something even bigger than that. It will hold various complex environmental functions that will attempt to “simultaneously filter Wuhan’s air and water, collect solar, wind, and hydrogen power, provide produce from a massive vertical garden, harvest rainwater, house restaurants and businesses, boil biomass, and generally aim to solve every major ecological crisis faced by central China’s “Fourth Pole,” according to Business Insider. As well as probably try to take over the world from the sound of things.
However, perhaps there is hope that this crazy creation can live up to expectations. At least, it has to be better than the smog busting drones or huge public vacuum cleaner ideas that have come before?
The firm wanted to come up with something that incorporated environmental functions in a big way, while at the same time, act as the centerpiece for the three kilometre long avenue. “In China if you come up with a slightly mad idea, its almost not mad enough,” said studio founder, Laurie Chetwood.
According to Chetwood, although this is a “blatantly iconic” structure, the idea is that “it doesn’t just stand there and become an iconic symbol of Wuhan, it has to do a job. We’ve applied as many environmental ideas as we possibly could to justify the shape and the size of them.”
The design of the Phoenic Towers links Western technology and architecture by relating to Chinese religion and philosophy through the legend of the phoenix. Even if they do look like icicles that were fellated by the Pink Panther. Business insider explains:
The towers link Western technology and architecture to the Chinese myths of the phoenix; two towers represent the dual gender the legendary bird has in Chinese iconography, and the spirit of rebirth is spread throughout all eight hectares of the the half-mile high towers.
The design is also supposed to address negative criticisms the West has received in the past for lack of sensitivity when creating architecture in China as its developments are often considered to lack local context and meaning. I doubt Chetwood will disappoint here though, as not only has she captured the spiritual but also the commercial. And we all know how much China loves to snag an extra mao. Even when saving the world.
Construction on the Phoenix Towers is slated to begin next year, but it’ll reportedly be another three years before these fire birds fully rise from the ashes.
[Images via Dezeen.com]
By Sophie Regan