Carbon Tower

Site: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Status: Conceptual Design

Program: Cultural

Client: Government of Dubai

The Carbon Fiber Tower considers the possibility of natural wind forces to assist in the structural rigidity of a vertical structure. Sails are airfoils that work by using an airflow set up by the wind and generate lift using the air that flows around them to create stiffness on the surface of the sail. In the Carbon Tower, the physics of the wind is calculated to develop the generative geometry of a triangulated field. The prevailing wind hits the thin side of the building, and when it does, the air moves through gill-like openings whose scale is determined by generative modeling. Triangulated in form, these openings tie the two sides together. As the wind weaves through lateral and transversal patterns, it creates a three dimensional wind-field network that stiffens the structure. The project employs computational fluid dynamics (cfd) to test out the wind patterns around the volume and the surface area.


The architecture consists of a structure with a core and attached programs.  This structure embeds itself into the landscape to control the air flows and cool water from the land in order to bring them up vertically.  Programmatically, the ground structures become canopies on the landscape to cool the areas of occupation.  These porches interface with the water for the docking of paddle boats and small sailing craft.  The tower, in turn, is an observatory, museum, restaurant, and cultural center and has a series of green decks. As the programmatic needs grow, additional programs plug in within the sandwich of the two vertical sides. Stargazing at the top opens up the tower to the landscape of the sky.