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Authors: Tristan P. Hughes

                 Erling Sommerfeld

                 Miguel Pereira

                 Milja Nykänen


Type: Open Architectural design competition


Total height: 170m


Location: Za’abeel Park, Dubai, UAE

Client: Dubai Municipality


Status: Concluded 


Year: 2009


The competition objective was to create an iconic tall emblem structure that contributes to the ever-changing face of Dubai and promotes tourism, recreation, scientific and cultural activities.


Our proposal is focused around two natural resources, WIND and WATER.



Harnessing wind for natural cooling has been used throughout the middle-east for millennia, and it is this ancient technology that provided the inspiration to create the world’s largest wind tower.


Using ancient wind towers that can be found in the UAE as a design guide, this modern wind tower built at a scale never seen before, will provide Dubai with an emblem of the past, present and future. It is somewhere where people from all over the world can see and feel how sustainable design really works.



Water is an integral part of the functioning of a wind tower, as it creates the cooling element for passing air. Water and the amazing visual patterns that it creates is used to define the unique façade.


The façade mimics the patterns of bubbling water or “oil” and is made of solid natural stone and perforated chrome plates. As the building gets taller, reaching 150m the chrome bubbles get denser and it is here that the air enters and leaves the wind tower and where the 3 floor sky bar/café is located.


The 2 long entrance ramps, orientated perpendicular to each other (north-south, west-east) are cut into the landscape allow people to access the base of the tower from opposite directions. From the 100m high lobby/atrium visitors can hear, feel and see the wind tower in operation. From here visitors can enter the conference spaces and library. Look down to the water pool below, access the balconies above or catch an elevator to the top of the tower.

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