LAVA (Laboratory for Visionary Architecture) unveiled the design of the Michael Schumacher World Champion Tower in Dubai, the first project of a series of branded towers, a new concept by PNYG, a company focused on branding. I´ve heard about branded towers such at the Porsche Towers by OMA, but it’s the first time I hear about a building branded after a Formula 1 champion.
LAVA is a practice formed a year ago by associate architects of the Mercedes Benz Museum and the Water cube, who decided to start their new practice focused on new technologies and innovation.
According to the architects, the design of the 59 stored luxury tower is abstracted from the geometric laws of snowflakes and Formula 1 aerodynamics, in order to obtain an efficient/minimal structure, maximum views and optimal light and air distribution.
Something that took my attention were the first levels of the tower. Since the tower wide’s on the base, which emerges from the water, the lower level has been reinterpreted as a series of wharf apartments, terraced similar to a cruise ship deck.
The building features an iconic silhouette and a façade characterized by vertical slots with private balconies. A series of reflective fins generates a vertical dynamic and gives the building a constantly changing appearance. The fins track the sun, control the solar shading and dissolve the rationality of the plan into a continuously evolving building volume. The facade’s continuous surface enables curvature with a lot of repetition and the potential for standardization in the building process. State-of-the-art engineering and innovative materials will be used to achieve a fully sustainable performance. The Tower Ground Breaking will be at the beginning of 2009, with a completion date around June 2011.