Dezeen Magazine

Michael Schumacher World Champion Tower by LAVA

Architects Chris Bosse and Tobias Wallisser of Laboratory for Visionary Architecture Asia Pacific (LAVA) have unveiled Michael Schumacher World Champion Tower at the Cityscape property fair in Dubai.


The 59-storey tower, one of seven to be built around the world, has been built in collaboration with former Formula 1 champion Schumacher, and is described as "branded architecture’s next step".


The following is from LAVA:



Future Living – Michael Schumacher Tower launched in Abu Dhabi

Today at Dubai cityscape, Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher presents the design for The Michael Schumacher World Champion Tower, the first in a series of seven towers to be built worldwide. A unique concept envisioned by Joachim Swensson, founder of branding specialists PNYG:COMPANY, the building represents branded architecture’s next step.


“The Tower marks a departure from traditional architectural thinking,” state the architects Chris Bosse and Tobias Wallisser. The tower designers represent a new generation of architects. Being responsible as associate architects for world recognised structures such as the Water cube in Beijing and the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Germany.


Just one year ago, they founded LAVA, the Laboratory for Visionary Architecture, a worldwide architectural network, together with architect Alexander Rieck, innovation expert at the Fraunhofer institute in Stuttgart.


“The project brings together our previous experiences, the Mercedes-Benz Museum, a brand-owned museum with an extraordinary spatial concept exploring the latest digital design and fabrication technologies with the Water cube Beijing, an example of the highest performance of both the building and the athletes, creating by a stunning atmosphere developed through the deliberate morphing of molecular science, architecture and phenomenology”, says Chris Bosse.


Inspired by the geometrical order of a snowflake and the aerodynamics of a Formula 1 racing car, the tower encapsulates speed, fluid dynamics, future technology and natural patterns of organisation. Rather than purely mimicking shapes in nature for their elegance and unpredictability, the architects learned from nature’s own geometrical orders creating highly efficient structures and intriguing spaces.


“We let the design unfold as a result of the project’s needs: optimal natural light and air distribution, maximum views, minimal structure, user comfort and an unrivalled water experience”, explains Tobias Wallisser. The organisational principle of a minimal surface allowed the optimisation of the facade/floor area ratio and each apartment in the 59 storey luxury tower has unobstructed ocean views.


“The unique collaboration with Michael Schumacher gave us new insights. Technology, precision, speed, elegance, paired with human intuition and extraordinary performance were a great source of inspiration for the design. Similar to the formula one operation, construction is a team sport with a lot of highly skilled experts. In this sense the architects take the driver seat in the process, taking the project to the physical limits of possibility”, adds Alexander Rieck.


The lower levels of the tower, traditionally the most difficult and least attractive area, has been reinterpreted as a series of prestigious wharf apartments, terraced similar to that of cruise ship decks. By widening the base, the tower is anchored into its surrounding water basin similar to the surrounding mangroves and nearby canals. The top Sky villas offer 270-degree views opposite the new cultural district on Saadyiat Island.


The building features an iconic silhouette and a facade characterised by vertical slots with private balconies. A series of reflective fins generates a vertical dynamic and gives the building a constantly changing appearance. The fins track the sun, control the solar shading and dissolve the rationality of the plan into a continuously evolving building volume. The facade’s continuous surface enables curvature with a lot of repetition and the potential for standardisation in the building process. State-of-theart engineering and innovative materials will be used to achieve a fully sustainable performance.


The Tower Ground Breaking will be at the beginning of 2009, with a completion date around June 2011.
Client: Vedera Capital|Marasi
Concept: PNYG:COMPANY, Dubai
Architecture: LAVA (Laboratory for Visionary Architecture),
Stuttgart|Sydney with Wenzel+Wenzel, Abu Dhabi