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Basrah - The Bride

In a bid to redraft more recent global perceptions, despite ongoing conflict in the country, in late 2015 Basra’s officials unveiled out-of-the-blue plans to build the world’s next tallest tower, overshadowing the 828-meter Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and the under-construction 1,000-metre Kingdom Tower being built by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Jeddah. Basra’s 1,152-meter skyscraper, named The Bride after a local nickname for the city, met with plenty of scepticism.

The brief developed into four conjoined towers creating a more logical and stable structure with multiple access and escape routes via horizontal and vertical circulation. Its design puts it ahead of Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, where the top 85 floors will remain unoccupied because they are too narrow for apartments or offices, international reports have claimed.

Project manager Marcos De Andres, a director at British firm AMBS Architects, insisted it has merit. The new downtown master plan was commissioned by the Basra Governorate with an aim of maximising the city’s capacity by 2025. Avoiding urban sprawl is a top priority to protect the precious environment and therefore we need to go vertical. The new downtown area would feature a one-of-a-kind landmark to match its importance.

The tallest building in Iraq in 2026 will stand equipped with solar panels and will produce more electricity than needed. At 3779 feet high, which will have gardens, offices, restaurants and a rail system in the building. In November 2015 AMBS Architects proposed a 1,152-metre-tall skyscraper for Iraq's Basra Province, which would surpass Jeddah's Kingdom Tower and Dubai's Burj Khalifa to become the tallest building in the world. Composed of four conjoined towers, The Bride tower's 230 storeys would be topped by an 188-metre-tall antenna. This would make the structure 152 metres higher than the planned height of the Kingdom Tower, designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture and currently under construction in the Saudi Arabian city. The world's tallest building title is currently held by Dubai's 830-meter Burj Khalifa skyscraper, also designed by Smith and Gill while working at US firm SOM.

Basra is located in the south of Iraq, and is a rapidly growing business centre. The building takes its name from the local area: the Bride of the Gulf. The firm described its skyscraper as "the first vertical city in the world", saying it will not only be the tallest structure but will break new ground in engineering and vertical transportation.

Breaking the 600-meter height mark, the tower would fall into the category of "mega tall". Towers over 300 metres are known as "super tall". "Super-tall towers are perceived as an object in the distance," said AMBS. "An alien planted in the city, disconnected from the urban scale at ground level. The Bride, on the other hand, will be conceived as a city itself both vertically but also horizontally from the ground." "It will be enjoyed by thousands of people in endless ways, within it, on it or under it," the firm added. "From walking in the vast shaded parks and promenades at ground level, to having lunch or shopping in a sky-square hundreds of metres above sea level."

The project was included in the budget but had to be put on hold because of the oil price. However, it is not a question of if it will be built but when. No construction schedule or financial data has been made available.

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Page last modified: 13-11-2016 18:59:45 ZULU