Work on the Burj Qatar in Doha is well underway with a quarter of the tower now rising from the ground.
It is designed by French architect Jean Nouvel who was perhaps having a lazy day when drawing the designs as it looks suspiciously like his Agbar Tower in Barcelona.
Upon completion it will stand at a hieght of 232 metres if you donít count its lightning conducting spire which will push it up to 231.50 metres. It is also rather tubby having a 43 metre diameter. Simple in form, it is essentially a cylinder with a domed top, quite conventional by todays sculptural standards.
Accessed through a planted garden which slopes gently towards a large lobby set under a glass canopy the tower rises 44 storeys to its top. The Vegetation and glass canopy overlap to give the impression that natural environment and man made environment can blend almost seamlessly together.
The facades of the tower set over a concrete diagrid frame as seen on London's famous Gherkin are double skinned glazing. The exterior layer of which has a smaller more complex geometric design inspired by the oriental moucharabieh that will act as the main line of solar protection for the building. It is composed of four "butterfly" aluminium elements all set at different scales with an overall pattern that's changeable according to the orientations and needs for different protection in different zones of the tower.
The inner glazing is slightly reflective which also aids in solar protection and just in case the mathematicians have got it slightly wrong roller blinds will also be installed making the tower albino friendly.
Carrying on the theme of the gardened entrance a 112 metre tall atrium runs up the centre of the tower which not only looks nice if anyone gets bored of the panoramic views offered by every floor of the tower but also helps improve air quality within the tower and generally makes everyone feel good.
The tower will house grade A office spaces and possibly a hotel which would provide amenities like pools and gyms for patrons and workers alike and is rumoured to become the headquarters of Qatar's National Bank.