Vertical city planned for Sahara Desert


Ambitious plans for a sustainable high rise which would encompass an entire city to be built in the Sahara Desert have been unveiled.

Parisian architecture firm OXO Architectes, in association with Nicolas Laisné Associés, have conceptualised the mixed-use tower designed for high density living in an arid climate.

The City Sand Tower project would be run using renewable sources including rainwater collection, solar power, and geothermal energy.


The conceptual project calls for a massive community of housing, offices, hotels, and a museum.

According to the concept, it rises to a height of 450m – or almost half a Burj Khalifa – but has a much larger footprint than the Dubai skyscraper, giving it a total floorspace of 78 hectares.

Inside the building, OXO Architectes imagines a central inner tower covered with vegetation that serves as a vertical garden sheltered from the harsh desert conditions.

Around a quarter of City Sand Tower’s usable floorspace is given over to offices, while a hotel and a total of 600 housing units make up the majority of the rest.

Remaining space is taken up by a shopping centre and conference rooms, sports area, museum, a spa, and a bar and restaurant. The tower also includes a meteorological observatory, while a heliport tops the building.

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