Snowflake Tower

Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher presented the design for The Michael Schumacher World Champion Tower, the first in a series of seven towers planned worldwide, at Dubai Cityscape in 2008. 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 organization. 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.

LAVA 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. The project brings together LAVA’s 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 Watercube 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.

The organisational principle of a minimal surface allowed the optimisation the facade/floor area ratio and each apartment in the 59 storey luxury tower has unobstructed ocean views. The lower levels of the tower, traditionally the most difficult and least attractive area, were 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 vertical dynamic and gives the building a constantly
changing appearance. The fins trac k 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 standardization in the building process. State-of-the-art  engineering and innovative materials will be used to achieve a fully sustainable performance. For all the giant leaps in technology in recent years, outdated modernist high-rise towers continue to dominate our cities.

The branded tower will be their successor redressing the ecological balance. With intelligent systems and skins, it can react to the external influences such as air-pressure, temperature, humidity, solar-radiation and pollution. New materials and technology will be used to create robust, lightweight structure that adapts to and harmonizes with its surroundings. Developed as a prototypical building translating brand values into an iconic architecture, the series of branded towers will be located at strategically chosen locations around the world.

The basic development principle will be adjusted to every specific location generating a mix of local and global values. Collaborations with renowned furniture manufacturers will contribute to a unique luxurious environment creating a new type of brand experience. The unique collaboration with Michael Schumacher gave LAVA new insights. Technology, precision, speed, elegance are paired with human intuition and extraordinary performance. Similar to the Formula 1 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.

The Tower marks a departure from traditional architectural thinking.

Description by architects


21 drawings

Building Activity