Rotating tower to be solar-powered

Rotating tower to be solar-poweredDubai’s latest mind-boggling project will be yet another global first – a fully rotating tower powered by the sun.

Project engineers say the Dh400 million Time Residences tower in the City of Arabia master development will turn through 360 degrees, its rotation mechanism driven by stored solar energy.

The project, which will put 200 apartments onto the market, is another addition to Dubai’s list of world exclusives which will include the world’s tallest tower, biggest mall and largest man-made island – even a collection of dozens of man-made islands dubbed The World.

In July, Dubai-based High Rise Real estate launched the Rotating Tower, a Dh175 million project in Jumeirah Village South featuring four rotating penthouses and a rotating villa with its own car lift.

Dubai Property Ring, developer of the 30-floor Time Residences, says it has gone one step better by launching a fully rotating structure.

“We didn’t want to build just another building or tower, we wanted to create something unique – a precious place to live – a genuine contender to be one of the great buildings in the world,” said Tav Singh, director of Dubai Property Ring, the Dubai arm of UK-based property investors UK Property Group.

Singh said the company plans to build 23 more rotating towers in each of the world’s time zones with finance provided by investors linked to the company.

The Time Residences tower will include one- and two-bedroom apartments as well as duplexes and penthouses. Singh said unit prices have not been released, but sales are expected to start in March 2007. Buyers’ payments will be held in an account managed by Dubai Property Ring and Colliers International, master agents for the project.

The project is the company’s first foray into property development, forcing it to take on the services of established names in their respective fields.

The tower was designed by UK architecture firm, Glenn Howells Architects (the company behind the Birmingham Rotunda in the UK) and Palmer and Turner, the master developers of City of Arabia.

“A distinctive time line runs down the building that meets 12 o’clock markings on the ground and the podium, allowing observers to use the building as a fully functioning time piece – it’s unique, it’s ambitious and it’s an honour to be involved from the start,” said James Abbott, senior architect at Palmer and Turner.

Dubai’s Kulkarni QS will manage the project, while the task of rotating an 80,000 tonne tower through 360 degrees over a seven day period has been handed to Nick Cooper, managing director of Bennett Associates, the British engineer who designed the drill machine that bored the English Channel Tunnel.

Cooper said state of the art bearing systems at several points in the tower will allow a power plant to rotate the base of the tower at 5mm per second using only 21 electic kettles’ worth of solar power.

Construction is expected to start in June next year with projected completion in the first quarter of 2009.

The project will also be showcased at this year’s Cityscape from December 4-6 at the Colliers International stand.

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