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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Creating an ‘Urban Oasis’ in Sahara

By Anuradha K R
Renders: Courtesy Manal Rachdi Oxo Architects+ Nicolas Laisne Associes

 
India Art n Design features Morocco's City Sand Tower by Manal Rachdi Oxo Architects & Nicolas laisne Associes
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With ‘urban sprawling’ becoming an omnipresent phenomenon, there’s been a heavy surge in automobile-dependent communities across the globe. Morocco’s City Sand Tower, a vertical city, designed by Manal Rachdi Oxo Architects and Nicolas Laisne Associes of Paris is a concept that could reverse this trend. 

A project under study, City Sand Tower is much more than just a tower. It’s a promise for a greener future, as it brings down the carbon footprints of a huge chunk of population.  And, the concept of vertical city itself assures a better quality of life, when compared with conventional urban life. When it is realized, it holds the promise of a fully-autonomous, energy-efficient ‘city’ that boasts of its own vertical farm inside!

India Art n Design features Morocco's City Sand Tower by Manal Rachdi Oxo Architects & Nicolas laisne Associes
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Going by illustrations, the tower’s dimensions are phenomenal and its vertical expanse seems to be challenging the horizontal expanse of the desert. With its 7,80,000 sq. m. surface and 450 m height, the tower’s overwhelming presence ensures the kind of attention that such ‘green’ concepts deserve in current times.

India Art n Design features Morocco's City Sand Tower by Manal Rachdi Oxo Architects & Nicolas laisne Associes
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India Art n Design features Morocco's City Sand Tower by Manal Rachdi Oxo Architects & Nicolas laisne Associes
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The tower stands unique not just because of its dimension; but also because of its form. When viewed from a distance, its irregular form makes one wonder as to what it is! Its rock-like exteriors seem to be imparting strength to its imposing structure.  Its highly protective, ochre-shaded exteriors seem to be blending seamlessly with the desert sand and remind onlookers of the monochromatic imagery presented by certain desert settlements. External façade, with shades and sensors incorporated in it, would lend itself for generating/harnessing unconventional energy.
 
India Art n Design features Morocco's City Sand Tower by Manal Rachdi Oxo Architects & Nicolas laisne Associes
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India Art n Design features Morocco's City Sand Tower by Manal Rachdi Oxo Architects & Nicolas laisne Associes
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A refreshing water basin that reflects the atrium inside, would welcome the ‘citizens’ to the tower’s premises. The exterior of the inner tower of the building would lend itself for vertical farming and would be covered with vegetation.

India Art n Design features Morocco's City Sand Tower by Manal Rachdi Oxo Architects & Nicolas laisne Associes
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India Art n Design features Morocco's City Sand Tower by Manal Rachdi Oxo Architects & Nicolas laisne Associes
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With homes, markets, farms, hotels, offices, hospitals, play-grounds and all other components of a city, finding shelter under one roof, vertical cities are bound to enliven the time-stressed lives of urban population, by bestowing upon them, the gift of ‘quality-time’. 

Would this ‘under-study’ project be actualized the way we envisage it?


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