Bride of the Gulf 2 Rendering: AMBS Architects/Facebook

The world’s next tallest skyscraper isn’t destined for a sprawling metropolis but rather a developing city with three million inhabitants. Basra, Iraq, will be the site of a 3,780 ft. (1,152 meter) skyscraper known as The Bride of the Gulf.

Encompassing 230 stories and 17 million square feet, the building is being described as “the first vertical city ever constructed.” According to the architects, it will feature residential units, offices, commercial space, hotels, schools, clinics, parks and even its own transport system — all of it run entirely on solar energy. A fitting idea, as Basra ranks among the hottest cities on the planet.

The Bride of the Gulf will be made up of four connected towers, which vary in height. A “veil” flows down the back of the building, draping over the base and extending outward into the city. It will provide shade from the sun in public outdoor areas; a welcome architectural solution in a city where summer temperatures frequently surpass 122°F (50°C).

Designed by the British-Iraqi firm AMBS Architecture, the building signifies just how far the city has come over the past 10 years. After decades of war and turmoil, Basra has transformed itself into Iraq’s economic capital. It possesses nearly all of the country’s oil wealth, which has helped it to reconstruct quickly.

While there is no set completion date for the project, or even a dedicated site, The Bride of the Gulf is already being hailed as a triumph. With it, Iraq is quite literally looking up towards the future.

Here’s a look at how The Bride of the Gulf compares to other super tall towers:
Bride of the Gulf 2 Rendering: AMBS Architects/Facebook

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