luca curci architects proposes a modular and sustainable 'vertical city' for the knowledge summit in dubai

luca curci architects proposes a modular and sustainable 'vertical city' for the knowledge summit in dubai

architecture firm luca curci architects presents vertical city, a project proposal for a vertical city-building of 25,000 people settled in the water. a number of renewable energy resources, such as wind, water turbines and solar panels are incorporated into the project, following a zero-waste policy. the city includes energy storage solutions, water desalination system, and integrated food production and farming encouraging a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.




architect luca curci explains, ‘we will build a new way of living: more sustainable with more interconnected communities programs; deleting suburbs and reducing poverty.’ the project combines a high-sustainability model for a dense population, aiming to build a zero-energy city-building hybrid. 




the architects started from an analysis of the contemporary skyscraper. the modern building is conceived as a compact element that smooth and alienated from its surroundings, while their proposal re-interprets it as an open structure, equipped with green areas on each level, ample natural light and ventilation. 




this new building model allows its residents to get into a healthier life-style, in close proximity to natural elements. this way, the building re-thinks the traditional concept of community and society. ‘it is our goal to make sure vertical cities will be affordable and available to everyone,’ says architect curci. 




the building’s structure is based on a prefabricated modular structure, which is repeatable horizontally and vertically. the singular shape of the structural element creates a 3D network that holds every single floor. the structure is surrounded by a membrane of photovoltaic glazing, providing electricity to the whole building and making it produce energy, providing additional energy for the buildings on the mainland too.




the city-building is perforated to permit the circulation of air and light on each level, hosting green-areas and vertical gardens. green zones are spread all over the tower, while meeting and social areas are designed for community life. the city-building consists of ten overlapping modular layers, reaching 750 meters tall, 180 floors, and a total volume of 3,750,000 cubic meters. the city is able to host up to 25,000 people, with a green area of over 200,000 square meters, including the public garden square at the top of the building. 




every modular and repeatable layer is 72 meters tall and has a diameter of 155 meters, of which 120 meters are open space inside the building. each layer consists of 18 floors, covering 58,000 square meters of floor surface. each house homes and services, offices, stores and other facilities. farming will be integrated with social space and will enable communities to provide their own food and be self-sufficient. 



every group of 18 floors will include a community framework for living, including water baths, markets, spiritual and cultural hubs. residences have different sizes and shapes for each floor, and include apartments, duplex and villas. the outside surface, with green areas and gardens, is covers 20,000 sqm. the building’s foundations reach the seabed, with a series of underwater floors that host parking and technical areas. facilities underwater include spas, mediation centres, gym areas and luxury hotels rooms with underwater views. 



visitors and residents can reach the vertical city by water, by land or by air. the circular basement is equipped with external and internal docks and three naval entries: large boats can dock at the external berths, permitting only public or private smaller boats to navigate in the inner gulf. the connection with the mainland is made throughout a semi-submerged bridge for pedestrians and public transportation, which connects the land with the basement underwater. 



moreover, the tower includes heliports connected with the upper garden-square and vertical linking-installations. vertical city is a modular interpretation of the idea of contemporary city and its many future possibilities. the urban system vertical cities urban system is planned to incorporate smart city technologies and to connect more than 100,000 people dividing the city in functional areas. 



the main residential city-tower is connected, by water and by air, to the three towers of offices, goverment departments, healthcare facilities and educational institutions, including all levels of schools and universities. the interconnected system also works as a tourist destination. there are three other structures, the moons, more oriented to the lifestyle amenities such as hotels, wellness and spa centres, sport centres, shopping malls, bookshops, and leisure attractions. 



vertical cities will shape our future’, affirms architect luca curci. vertical city will be presented for the first time at the knowledge summit 2019 in dubai. the mohammed bin rashid al maktoum knowledge foundation is organising it’s sixth annual knowledge summit, on november 19-20, 2019 bearing the theme “knowledge: the path to sustainable development”. 



project info:


project name: vertical city

design: luca curci architects

presentation: knowledge summit 2019 in dubai

dates presented: november 19-20



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: cristina gomez | designboom

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