We occasionally joke about adventurous building designs looking like something out a science fiction movie, but we take it all back now, because this design, from OXO Architectes and Nicolas Laisné Associés, is the one true This Looks Like Something Out of a Science Fiction Movie design. The plan is to build a 1,400 foot tall vertical city in the Sahara Desert (self-sustaining, of course), in a structure called the City Sand Tower, which would be asymmetrical and earth-colored in order to make it look like a giant boulder and blend in to the barren surroundings. The surrealness of the project is only enhanced by the description on the architects' website, which, translated from French (by Google), reads like a prologue to a novel set on a desert planet.
In this flat area, it is first difficult to grasp its scale.
At this distance, it seems to be a rock.
As he approached, the landscape widens, the climate softened by the shadows
projected on the floor.
One enters a maze of streets that recall the oriental souks. The
men seem to have bene fi ted a happy predisposition relief to
At the corner of an alley, one becomes conscious of the presence of the tower. It
now seems huge, but a reassuring immensity welcoming.
We naturally entering the area; on the threshold a pool of water brings milled
release button and re fl ects an atrium.
In looking up we see a second round of vegetation covered
tion seems to have pushed the center of the first:
In a story rub hotel, housing, shops, a spring
panoramic taurant, a meteorological observatory ...
The temperate areas bene fi t of views on the vast expanse of the desert to
the outside and towards the vertical garden inside.
We can there also play sports, swim in a pool, pray in a
sacred place face to the purity of the sky.
The exterior facades, very protective, ocher, come into re-
resonance with this site so special. They are composed of sunscreens
and sensors that produce the energy needed for life and refresh-
chissement of the tower.
It now forms a landmark in the desert and created a new way of
life by transforming the extreme characteristics of its climate sources
of energy and freshness.
· See New Plans for a Self-Sustaining Vertical City in the Sahara Desert [Architectural Digest]
· The sand tower town [OXO Achitectes]