Richard Branson launches plane-shaped
skyscraper and moon hotel


News: Richard Branson has today revealed new architectural designs from Virgin, including a New York skyscraper shaped like a bunch of balloons, a Sydney tower with the form of a space shuttle and a moon hotel that looks like tubular bells.

The projects come under the banner Virgin Buildings, a new strand of Branson's empire aimed at "capturing iconic Virgin moments in a new generation of ultra-green skyscrapers". The series also includes a plane-shaped building for London and a Cape Town structure resembling a kite.

"We've been lucky at Virgin to have done some pretty extraordinary things, whether its the music business, trains, planes or even spaceships, but I think this project perhaps caps them all," said Branson.

According to Branson, each building will feature huge rainwater-harvesting facilities, living walls that can be used for growing food and moving walls that can adapt to suit different rooms and functions.

Richard Branson launches plane-shaped skyscraper and moon hotel

Describing the plane-shaped London tower, he explained: "This building is going to be the best looking building in the city but it also has the best unique features."

"One of the very unique features about this building is that it can turn or the floor can turn in order to face the sun, to either generate energy from the sun or to heat a particular floor or heat the whole building."

Richard Branson launches plane-shaped skyscraper and moon hotel

Not content with launching the project in every continent, Branson also wants to take the technology to the moon and open a space hotel.

"We're looking at being the first company in the world to have a building on the moon, and we thought, if we're going to do it lets try and pay for it by making it a hotel, and of course a pretty good-looking hotel," he said.

Richard Branson launches plane-shaped skyscraper and moon hotel

Professor and television personality Brian Cox has applauded the ingenuity of the project. "The physics of creating rotating buildings in dense metropolises should not be underestimated, and efforts to source more of our primary energy from the sun –and put sustainable hotels on the moon – should be applauded."

Asked about the timing of the announcement a Virgin representative told Dezeen "there are no coincidences at Virgin".

The announcement follows the news earlier today that two companies have proposed bread-shaped skyscrapers for the City of London.

  • Mr J

    Like the rocket hotel, even if it is 1 April today. The lunar hotel is a nice idea too, though I’d prefer it to be in a plastic-domed crater, complete with trees, shrubs, and grass. Of course, there’d be a swimming pool (why not a lake!) with ultra-high diving boards, suitable for the Moon’s low gravity, just one-sixth that of the Earth.

  • Grapes

    Happy April Fools’ day.

  • fitty

    April Fools’.

  • Brennan Murray

    Great drive and good thoughts. Horribly designed building! A building that looks like a rocket, why? If you truly want to be an efficient building should’t the profile of the building be minimal to cut down on materials used to support those wing portions.

    Think about the wind reinforcement of those small hanging portions. What about solely designing for function and finding beauty in that, instead of saying I want to build a building that looks like a random shape I like and go with that. Just my 2¢

  • Nick

    Hook, line and sinker.

  • Rae Claire

    There are bunches of great ideas in this presentation. I hope some of them are not just silly jokes like the rocket building shape.