Will a giant circular structure revolve around the famous “Burj Khalifa”? An architectural firm in Dubai presents an exciting concept

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – Dubai-based experimental architecture firm ZNera Space has presented a concept design that features a massive, 5-story circular structure that wraps around the world’s tallest skyscraper, the 829.8-meter Burj Khalifa. It is about twice the height of the Empire State Building in America.

The concept, known as ‘Downtown Circle’, blends community, luxury and futuristic urban planning in a highly ambitious design brought to life through a series of distinctive illustrations created in collaboration with Pictown, a firm specializing in architectural design illustrations.

ZNera Space’s lead architects, Ngos Choudary and Nils Rhimes, see the concept of “Downtown Circle” as a horizontal touch against Dubai’s futuristic skyline, which seems to consist of an endless number of skyscrapers.

ever-changing horizon

In Dubai, the company “ZNera Space” presented a unique conceptual design. , plain textCredit: ZNera Space

While the design is exciting and revolutionary, the “Downtown Circle” project may be unviable from a practical and financial standpoint right now, Chaudhry and Rhimes admit.

“It was supposed to be the start of a conversation,” Chaudhry said, noting that it could “make people rethink urban development and congestion.”

Will a giant circular structure surround the Burj Khalifa?  An engineering company in Dubai is proposing an exciting concept
The structure consists of 5 floors. , plain textCredit: ZNera Space

“We worked on very important aspects that trigger a debate about how we plan cities,” explained Reims. “The reason we chose Burj Khalifa is that it is located in a very densely populated urban area, and we want to address the problems that come with the density of cities.”

The structure, which is designed to be 550 meters above street level, has a circumference of more than 3 kilometers, and the ring will be supported by 5 massive pillars.

Will a giant circular structure surround the Burj Khalifa?  An engineering company in Dubai is proposing an exciting concept
The structure draws power from solar cell systems. , plain textCredit: ZNera Space

“We wanted to create a microclimate in the city center and create a kind of envelope around the area to control the temperature and make it more livable during hot weather,” Choudary said, adding that “these vertical (pillars) use air can become purifiers in urban areas.”

The column structure can house an innovative smog filter design designed by ZNera Space, which was nominated for a 2018 World Architecture Festival Award in the category “Experimental Future Projects”.

Sustainable design for the future

Will a giant circular structure surround the Burj Khalifa?  An engineering company in Dubai is proposing an exciting concept
The concept includes an electric “tram” system attached to the bottom of the chassis. , plain textCredit: ZNera Space

In Dubai, temperatures often exceed 40 degrees Celsius, and the architects want their design to set a new standard for sustainability in the region.

“The entire roof will be an extension of solar panels,” Chaudhry said, noting that he also wants to implement a technology we’ve already used in a previous project, namely hydrogen solar cells.

Will a giant circular structure surround the Burj Khalifa?  An engineering company in Dubai is proposing an exciting concept
The concept aims to encourage people to discuss the best ways to build in urban areas for a healthy and sustainable future., plain_textCredit: ZNera Space

This technology uses solar energy to convert water into hydrogen, which can then run air conditioners and power the building.

The design has been prepared to match Dubai’s plan to provide a sustainable urban environment by 2040.

The concept also proposes several options for transportation, including an electric “tram” system that can reach speeds of up to 100 kilometers per hour, as well as infrastructure to accommodate flying taxis.

a “self-sufficient” city

Will a giant circular structure surround the Burj Khalifa?  An engineering company in Dubai is proposing an exciting concept
The structure will house a mix of luxury apartments, offices, cultural and entertainment facilities. , plain textCredit: ZNera Space

And this amount of architectural ambition does not come without engineering challenges, such as creating a structure strong enough to accommodate interior details, and light enough to be supported by columns.

“The fuselage itself is quite lightweight. I imagine it as a (large) airplane, and the lid that makes up the fuselage, its ribs and its interior are all hollow,” Chaudhry explained.

“But it is supported by these columns and the circular ring,” Chaudhry continued, adding, “We chose to make it circular because this structural form is considered the most stable.”

The proposed structure will combine residential spaces with commercial, cultural and corporate areas to form a “self-sufficient city within a city,” according to Reims.

“If you live there, you can walk to your office, garden or home in 15-20 minutes. In Dubai, it’s hard to do that,” explained Remes.

The most important feature of the interior design is the uninterrupted green belt, called “Sky Park”, which connects the five floors of the structure.

“Sky Park is the central backbone of the entire design,” emphasizes Choudhury. “It will be a mixed-use green space, and it will also serve as a space to rethink how to farm in the future, especially in cities.”

“Historically, agriculture came first, then we built cities,” Rhimes explained, but “we’ve kind of lost that concept now.”

With this greenbelt within the structure, “we want to produce food and bring agriculture back to downtown,” Rhimes said.

The concept is certainly attracting attention, but not all reactions to it have been positive, as since posting images of the project on the company’s Instagram page, some have suggested that the design could destroy the fabric of downtown.

“Some of the comments online have been negative, but as someone told us recently, which one looks better: a bare finger or a ring finger?” Chaudhary said: “I think it adds something to the verticality of the Burj Khalifa.”

Leave a Comment