“The Bride of the Gulf”, or, Basra, the Port City of Iraq and consistently one of the hottest on the planet with majority of Iraq’s Oil reserves stashed in it, is currently in the spotlight for all the right reasons. It is the soon-to-be home to the tallest building on earth, the ‘Bride Tower,’ the inspiration for whose name is quite apparent.
Surpassing the most awaited Kingdom Tower in Jeddah and the current tallest Burj Dubai at a soaring 1152 meters, the Bride is 241 stories high with an antenna of 188 meters. The antenna adds 152 meters extra to the Bride than the supposed height of the Kingdom Tower. Designed by AMBS Architects, the Bride was until recently, a hush-hush project due to security measures.
In one of the fastest growing Business Centers of the World, Basra, the conception of Bride is the X-factor, adding to the Economic value of the Country. Not just another skyscraper in the race, it is path-breaking in a few respects. The Tower is conceived out of a need and proper consideration of the Urban sprawl which seems to be expanding horizontally. In order to avoid minimization of City’s capacity, the Government of Iraq swayed in the favor of building upwards. The Bride is the collective of four towers conjoined to form a more stable and reliable structure, with the tower in the South being the tallest.
“In contrast to a conventional tower, The Bride will be a place that may be enjoyed by all, not only for the ones that live and work there, but also the rest of the public,” the AMBS stated.
Propagated as the first ‘Vertical City’ in the world, it is supposedly a feat of engineering with vertical transportation system as one its highlights. Complete with sky-gardens and sky-squares at various levels where the towers connect, the whole structure ensures multiple access and escape routes making it an efficiently planned building on the whole. Space efficiency has been maximized by keeping the section of the Tower constant and typical as one goes upwards.
The Bride will be a 24-hours dwelling space for Residents, Office-goers, Hotels, Commercial Centers, Parks, Gardens and what-not. To top it all, there will be a Rail-network of Bride’s own to flaunt to the world.
Environmental planning is ingrained in the fabric and the structure of the building itself. The strategic placement of the masses is such that they shade each-other. The South ‘tallest’ tower for instance, will be shaded be a canopy that marks 600,000 square meters as its domain, accommodating low-rises, public areas etc. into its large berth. The ‘Veil’ as its apt name goes, integrates into its self, Hybrid Solar Photo-voltaic Thermal Combined System which provides for a water-saving strategy. All set to become a net-zero building, it makes for a promising future and an exemplary piece of Architecture.
“Super-tall towers are perceived as an object in the distance, 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, from walking in the vast shaded parks and promenades at ground level, to having lunch or shopping in a sky-square hundreds of meters above sea level.”
With Jeanne Gang as the Chief Architect, the Bride also breaks tradition by being the tallest building ever to be designed by a woman.
One step at a time, man is slowly climbing the creeper that leads into the very depths of the Sky and yonder. History is created at every such instance when a building surpasses its predecessors to take their place as the tallest in the world. ‘The Bride’ is a king destined for greatness and awaiting its throne.
By : Antara Jha