Mumbai's tallest, sveltest tower will 'confuse the wind'

With its plans for a rather perilous-looking waif of a skyscraper, Chicago-based Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture have won a bid to build what will become Mumbai's tallest building, a 1,312-foot-tall residential skyscraper in India's most populous city. No strangers to extreme structures—Smith was, after all, the chief architect for the Burj Khalifa, plus the firm put forth plans for China's 80,000-person 'Great City' and Saudi Arabia's mindbogglingly tall Kingdom Tower—this latest creation, called Imperial Tower, brags a laundry list of fairly inconceivable architectural bonus points, including, most notably, its ability to "confuse the wind."

According to the project description (PDF), the "softly curvilinear form of this tall, elegantly slender tower is aerodynamically shaped" to, uh, not fall over when the wind blows—a feat considering the tower's vague resemblance to a balancing glass ruler. The scheme's north-south facing "sky gardens" allow wind to filter through the structure, minimizing the impact of the gales as they blow around the building.

Breeze-confounding skills aside, the 820,985-square-foot Imperial Tower would boast 132 full-sized residences across its 116 stories. Also included in the design: an exterior that diffuses direct sunlight and systems to collect and treat waste water and rainfall. Sounds pretty cool, right? Yeah well don't get too attached because the project, like many other too-superlative-to-be-true structures—here's looking at you, "90-day" record-setter—is by no means guaranteed. In fact, Architizer says the firm "states that though this is a competition winner, its future is by no means certain."

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