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Old September 14th, 2009, 07:31 PM   #1
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This came up in the LAtimes and hence am posting it here....still in concept stage, I guess!!

224-story skyscraper would be high point for architect

Tommy Landau, a building designer in Santa Monica, has proposed the record-setting tower. A committee in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, is considering the project.

By Roger Vincent
September 14, 2009

A Santa Monica architect known for his high-rise designs is working on what may be the ultimate "spec" building -- a 224-story skyscraper with green ambitions that would be the tallest structure in the world.

The tower is envisioned for a man-made island in Abu Dhabi, if leaders of the oil-rich emirate decide they want to make a statement to rest of the world and perhaps one-up neighboring Dubai.

A conceptual design for the $3.5-billion project in the United Arab Emirates is under consideration by an Abu Dhabi planning committee, said Tommy Landau, the architect who created the design and is part of an unusual team of U.S. real estate players trying to get the ambitious project launched.

Landau knows it might be several years before construction starts -- if it starts at all. But he's not in a rush.

"This would be my swan song, my goodbye thing," the 72-year-old architect said.

Such a building could hold more than 11 million square feet for such uses as offices, shops, hotels or condominiums. That raises the question: Is there actually a need in the Middle East for a building so gargantuan that it would be more than three times as tall as U.S. Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles, the tallest building in the West?

Probably not any time soon, because many real estate developments already underway in the Emirates have been stalled by the international economic crisis. But the builders' calculations wouldn't necessarily be based on demand. The point is to be big enough to make the world take notice.

"It's almost like what successful animators do, building super-scale stuff to draw attention," Landau said.

The architect and his partners have some ideas about how to make people talk about their tower, starting with the massive clock mounted at the same height as the top of New York's Empire State Building -- but less than halfway up their proposed tower. At the wide base of the tower would be a restaurant, where diners could rotate inside as if they were on a Ferris wheel.

Other elements might include entire floors given over to shopping centers or gardens, and a vast museum of Middle Eastern antiquities.

But the building's defining statement would be its ability to create more energy than it uses, said Newport Beach developer David Kubit, a consultant to the project. The necessary solar power equipment doesn't exist yet but may not be far away, he said.

"We're close to new emerging nanotechnology which will allow us to create solar cells in glass curtain walls of buildings," Kubit said. Power generation from the building's massive curtain wall would be supplemented with conventional solar panels on rooftops.

Advances are being made in green technology for high-rises. Designers of the 71-story Pearl River Tower nearing completion in Guangzhou, China, say it will have a net zero-energy footprint through its use of built-in wind turbines, condensation collection and other features.

Los Angeles architecture writer Michael Webb says super-tall buildings are hard to justify in environmental terms.

"You have to dig very deep for the foundation and use a lot of materials including steel, all lifted by cranes," he said.

The motivation to build record-setting tall buildings has always been the same, Webb said, starting at least with the world's tallest skyscraper of 1913, the 57-story Woolworth Building in New York. "It draws attention to the person who builds it and the people who occupy it. It's all about bragging rights."

New York and Chicago competed for decades to put up the highest buildings, Webb said. "It continued until the torch was passed to Asia and then the Middle East."

The latest record holder is the Burj Dubai, also in the United Arab Emirates. The Burj is still under construction but has topped out at 162 floors. This year a Saudi billionaire announced plans to build a taller building in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Abu Dhabi might be next to hold the record, said Sam Zakhem, a U.S. ambassador to Bahrain during the Reagan administration and a part of Laudau's group.

"This [proposal] is very exciting for the royal family in Abu Dhabi," Zakhem said. "They would probably welcome this on one of the islands in the gulf waters."

Another member of Landau's group with Middle Eastern ties is Rodeo Drive art dealer Fayez Barakat, whose family has been collecting and selling antiquities for decades through stores in Abu Dhabi; Jerusalem; Bethlehem, West Bank; and Beverly Hills.

"Mr. Fayez is in position to have quite an effect in this endeavor," Zakhem said.

Also part of the team and a likely investor in the project is Wayne Kao, founder of Morgan Browning Capital of Los Angeles and Taipei.

Landau, who runs a boutique practice called Landau Partnership in Santa Monica, said he would turn over the technical aspects of putting the skyscraper together to one of three large international architecture firms if the project gets off the ground.

"The concept is mine," he said. "The nuts-and-bolts execution would be done by the architect of record."

Landau's previous designs include tall office buildings such as the 25-story Glendale Plaza in Glendale, 17-story One Westwood on Wilshire Boulevard in Westwood, 24-story Landmark Square in Long Beach and the 17-story Trillium Towers Center in Woodland Hills. Earlier in his career he made contacts in the Middle East that eventually led to this opportunity, Landau said.

Business for many commercial architects has been slow during the recession, dragging especially on office designers since the great building boom of the late 1980s and early 1990s left much of the country saturated with office space.

Instead of designing, Landau has been spending much of his time lately working on a musical he conceived called "Woody," about turf-rights battles at Southern California beaches in the late 1960s. He is also an artist and a cartoonist.

Contributing the concept for a record-setting tower would be a satisfying way to wrap up his architectural career, Landau said.

"If they build the building, I'll jump off of it," he deadpanned. "With a parachute."

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Old September 14th, 2009, 08:59 PM   #2
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Still in its VERY early stages but if this tower takes off it's going to be crazy..
This should also be over the 1km mark.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 09:02 PM   #3
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I think they might be talking about the tower in the mina zayed project
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Old September 14th, 2009, 09:11 PM   #4
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It was originally going to be developed by Aldar, they've since said "that they have decided against this plan for the area and are currently coming up with a new master plan." - Source

Render off the (scrapped) Mina Zayed tower:

Last edited by Adam2707; September 15th, 2009 at 07:45 PM.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 09:33 PM   #5
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brilliant AD as i said before 3 years ago ... you can't put AD out of this SCC Tallest game !

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Old September 15th, 2009, 05:19 AM   #6
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Old September 15th, 2009, 08:14 AM   #7
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Ser Panameño es un orgullo, pero ser Chiricano es una bendición de Dios.
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Old September 15th, 2009, 12:55 PM   #8
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very crzy!!! I like it
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Old September 15th, 2009, 10:17 PM   #9
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fantastic news, just like it should be!

when it is not located in Mina Zayed, where else could you place such a huge tower? Al Reem or Al Sowwah or maybe one of those new islands they have now reclaimed along the Estern Mangroves?
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Old September 16th, 2009, 01:43 PM   #10
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They say in the article on a man made island, so it could be anywhere..

224-story building for Abu Dhabi?

The Los Angeles Times is reporting today that a $3.5bn, 224-story skyscraper is "under consideration by an Abu Dhabi planning committee". (The Burj Dubai, tallest building in the world, is about 162 floors...)

The source of the story is architect Tommy Landau, who says the tower is "envisioned for a man-made island in Abu Dhabi, if leaders of the oil-rich emirate decide they want to make a statement to the rest of the world and perhaps one-up neighboring Dubai".

The building would have 11 million square feet of space and would have a "massive clock mounted at the same height as the top of New York's Empire State Building", which would only be halfway up the proposed building. It also would create more energy than it uses.

Now, architects have a tendency to start talking well before any deals are signed, but it's still an interesting project to look at. Despite Abu Dhabi's attempts to be less brash and suprelative-seeking as its neighbour to the north, there have been a few examples of iconic towers under consideration.

One of them was the Crystal Palace - an epic structure that would have been built at Mina Zayed by Aldar Properties. I profiled it in this blog post a few months ago: "Seven designs that were never built". The other is planned for Lulu Island - an "elongated oyster shell" tower. See an article about that one here.

There are plenty of other buildings that are iconic in their own way, like the leaning tower at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and the Sun and Sky towers on Reem Island. But none of these are out to capture a world record in the way that Landau's tower would.

The National

I hope that not an actual model of the tower sat next to him.

Last edited by Gabriel900; July 29th, 2016 at 03:13 PM.
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Old September 17th, 2009, 12:28 PM   #11
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Abu Dhabi says no to world’s tallest building

A proposal for a 224-storey building in Abu Dhabi has been turned down, according to a group of architects, designers and businessmen promoting the building.

Fayez Barakat, the owner of the Barakat Gallery of antiquities in Emirates Palace, said he presented plans for the so-called Al Imlaq, or The Giant, to Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed, a member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, to be considered for construction on an island near Saadiyat Island.

After reviewing it, Sheikh Ahmed’s staff decided it was not feasible because it would affect air traffic, Mr Barakat said.

“One of the ideas for the building was to outdo the Burj Dubai,” he said. “It would be very tall.”

An initial failure to find a home for the building in the capital is not stopping the group from pursuing other locations. It is now intending to pitch the concept to developers in Saudi Arabia, Mr Barakat said.

The tower would have risen 62 storeys taller than the Burj Dubai, making it the tallest building in the world. It has been designed by Tommy Landau, a Californian architect, and the blueprints call for advanced solar panels, a museum, a university and a centre devoted to astronomy on the roof.

Mr Landau told the Los Angeles Times this week that the project would cost US$3.5 billion (Dh12.85bn) and contain 11 million square feet of space. A large clock would be hung on the building at the same height as the Empire State Building – about halfway up – to impress upon people its extraordinary height.

While Abu Dhabi has not announced any project that would break a world record for height, it has quietly considered such projects in the past. A draft masterplan for Mina Zayed created for Aldar Properties shows a massive building called Crystal Palace that would be several times higher than most buildings in the capital. The plan has since been discarded, according to Aldar.

At present, the tallest building in Abu Dhabi is the Sky Tower on Reem Island at more than 300 metres, but the record will not last long. The Landmark Tower on the Corniche will top out at about 324 metres and the Central Market Residential Tower nearby should peak at 382 metres.

The National

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Old September 20th, 2009, 06:08 AM   #12
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biulding something that high is not very practical and enviromentally viable
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Old September 22nd, 2009, 01:27 PM   #13
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its just a joke
Do What u can, with what u have,where u R
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Old September 22nd, 2009, 01:43 PM   #14
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Not a real project.
I am the eye in the sky, Looking at you
I can read your mind
I am the maker of rules, Dealing with fools
I can cheat you blind.

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