A Vertical Garden in the Sahara

French-Moroccan architect Manal Rachdi and his firm OXO have proposed building a 450 meter tower with 8,400,000 square feet of livable space in the middle of the Sahara desert, according to a new report in Architectural Digest.

According to Rachdi’s proposal, the self-sustaining city would provide 192 acres of floor space encircling a ground-to-roof vertical garden designed “to add lush greenery to the arid setting”. City Sand Tower, as it would be called, is tentatively planned for the Moroccan section of the Sahara. Its mixed-used interior would include offices, residences, shops, conference and sports facilities, a hotel, and opportunities for family-friendly activities like recreation and worship. Entrance would be from the ground floor atrium or via helicopter, which would land on the roof.

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Residents and visitors would navigate the building through curving streets styled after North African souks, while the building’s asymmetrical silhouette and earthen colors would harken to the surrounding landscape in form, function, and culture.

Solar power and deep geothermal wells will provide energy, while rainwater and recycled gray water will be the primary source of water for the people and plants of this vertical city. Given the massive amount of space dedicated to the vertical garden at its core, it’s clear that the building will have no shortage of green space for all to enjoy. (Check out the renderings, below!)


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