Danish architectural firm BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) has unveiled a unique design for a 70,000 square foot observation tower in Phoenix, Arizona.
The tower, nicknamed “The Pin” will stand at over 420 feet tall and feature a spiralling, spherical observation deck overlooking the Arizona Science Center and Chase Field and offering 360-degree views of downtown Phoenix and the city’s renowned mountain landscapes.
BIG was commissioned by local developers Novawest, who sought to create “a destination event to provide tourists and citizens of Phoenix alike the chance to enjoy the unique features of the Valley of the Sun.”
The Pin, as the tower has been nicknamed, will be similar in many ways the iconic Space Needle tower in Seattle and its design is suggested to resemble a large honey dipper or pin to ‘mark’ the city’s location on a map.
“Like the monsoons, the haboobs and the mountains of the surrounding Arizonian landscape, the Pin becomes a point of reference and a mechanism to set the landscape in motion through the movement of the spectator,” said BIG founder Bjarke Ingels. ”The motion at the Pin is turned inside-out, allowing visitors to contemplate the surrounding city and landscape of Phoenix.”
The tower will be built using reinforced concrete and will be accessible by three glass elevators. Like the Guggenheim Museum in New York, visitors to the tower will be encouraged to take an elevator to the very top of the structure and then make their way down the sphere and enjoy Phoenix’s spectacular views from open air platforms.
Instead of being a consistent width, the spherical walkway expands from both its topmost and lowest points, reaching its maximum width at the middle of the sphere. BIG’s design has also adhered to sustainable energy practices including solar and green technologies.
Restaurants will be located at the base of the tower, and retailers and flexible event spaces will be interspersed throughout the tower.
“This is the right place and the right time for a signature project for downtown Phoenix and we knew the design needed to be something extraordinary,” said Novawest principal Brian Stowell. “BIG has delivered something exceptional, blending form and function in a way that will change the local skyline forever and will give visitors a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
The project is estimated to cost $60 million and will be Phoenix’s second tallest tower, standing slightly less tall than the 483-foot Chase Tower.