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Millennium Tower

location: Glasgow, Scotland

year: 1993

client: Glasgow Development Agency

design: Richard Horden Associates

The Millennium Tower was the winning design in an international competition to design a tower for Glasgow city centre, to express the city’s past and future technological capabilities. Its 140-metre-high design seeks to inspire the young people of Glasgow, with the form and function of the tower expressing a desire to live and design in harmony with the natural forces of wind and gravity.

A turning mechanism based on a spherical bearing in its base allows the tower to shift with the wind reducing wind load on the structure, enabling lighter construction. Visitors rise by lifts to a cabin at the top, while the lifts descend slowly by their own weight without power. The cabin seats 40 with a small ‘airline’ kitchen and toilet. Open-air viewing is on the level below, while the area around the base of the tower can be used for events. The top of the tower houses electronic information systems.

Alusuisse Tower Zurichsee:
Alusuisse invited us to design an all aluminium version of the Millenium Tower to be placed on the shallow submerged island to the north end of Lake Zurich opposite The Frascati Restaurant and Alusuisse headquarters.

This relatively lightweight design, aprox 260 tons, would have been a temporary installation and been capable of being dismantled in 12m long sections and trucked to other locations for special events and exhibitions rather like a tower crane.

The 'Swiss-air' project would have had a great deal of aerodynamic design input from the The Millenium Tower project aerospace engineer Peter Heppel.