Looking more like a giant sculpture than a working skyscraper, the Namaste Tower currently under construction in Mumbai, India, is expected to be as green as it is beautiful to behold. Designed by the Dubai-based WS Atkins architecture firm, the tower will look like no other structure currently being built in one of the largest cities in the world.
At 62 stories, the tower will include a W Hotel, several floors of office space, retail shops and a rooftop restaurant. The building will also incorporate a renewable energy system to help produce hot water, abundant greenery in the common areas and several passive systems to help reduce energy demands.
The curving shape of the building, with its two symmetrical halves, resembles the traditional Indian greeting of “namaste,” which is normally said with both hands pressed together as a welcoming gesture. To emphasize the theme of welcoming hands, the skin of the building will be covered intricate, swirling patterns that are based on the Mehndi pre-wedding ceremony, in which Indian brides-to-be decorate their hands and feet with elaborate henna designs.
The swirls on the building, however, will have another purpose beyond striking aesthetics. The light-colored façade will be made of fritted glass, which will act as a sunscreen to reduce solar gain within the building. Canopies that splay out on the lower floors will also include solar thermal collectors that will provide about 12 percent of the energy needed to create hot water for hotel guests.
Throughout the many open corridors and atrium areas in the Namaste Tower, the designers included open spaces for internal gardens to help improve indoor air quality and promote circulation of fresh air.
With a height of nearly 985 feet, the tower will be one of the tallest in Mumbai by the time it is completed in 2016. Because of this, the orientation and massing of this tower were designed to provide spectacular views of the Indian Ocean, the Mumbai Peninsula and other adjacent towers.