Over the last few decades, there aren’t many cities in the world that have grown as quickly and as impressively as Dubai has, with skyscrapers like the 160-story Burj Khalifa claiming the record for the world’s tallest building at 828m. However, the city skyline could be set to change after plans have been revealed for a concept called Downtown Circle, which would see a circular building create a ring around the Burj Khalifa 550m above the streets.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen wildly ambitious concept plans for Dubai architecture, but the Downtown Circle has to be one of the most visually impressive to date, not just because of its immense scale, but also because of its innovative interior and in-built transportation. All counted, the circle boasts a circumference of more than 3,000 metres and is supported by five colossal columns to loft the structure into the air.
Inside the Downtown Circle are plans for residential spaces, as well as commercial and cultural areas that will see the entire building form a critical part of Dubai’s infrastructure into the future. Designed by the architecture firm Znera Space, the impressive renders were created by Pictown Architectural Visuals.
The intention of the design is to challenge Dubai residents’ perceptions of skyscraper apartment living and gated communities, by offering a different vision of the future of the Middle Eastern city. The Downtown Circle building is actually two separate rings connected via a huge garden called the Skypark, which assists in making the structure sustainable, as well as delivering a three-dimensional urban green ecosystem to the building’s tenants and residents.
The founders of Znera Space, Nils Remess and Najamus Chowdry, spoke with UAE’s The National about the project, explaining, “we wanted to go down to the basics of how gated communities were established as a very horizontal built environment but you can’t have that here because of the dense urban fabric of Dubai. The best way to explore and practise this concept was in Downtown itself.”
“When COVID-19 hit hard, we thought a lot about suitability and how can we change things, and how we can create better urban planning. We looked at aspects such as garbage disposal, food production, traffic problems, and pollution. We put all these things together and came up with the concept.”
While Dubai residents might have objections to the 3-kilometre Downtown Circle taking up visual real estate around the Burj Khalifa, the aim of the concept design is a positive one, according to Remess and Chowdry.
“It also raises the discussion of what we can do better. The way we build cities, the way we plan things. There can be negativity around this type of discussion but also solutions in how we can change things for the better.”