#PhoenixTowers in Wuhan city, China, will be 1km high and environmentally responsible – an annotated infographic

World’s tallest this, highest that, smartest whatever, biggest doohickey – we humans love to compare stuff to other stuff, which in turn ensures more stuff will be forthcoming to which we can compare the old stuff that used to impress us, but which has now been rendered dull and pointless by the new stuff.

In that very spirit, we bring news of China’s planned Phoenix Towers, a one-kilometre tall skyscraper designed to be the environmentally responsible centrepiece of Wuhan city and which makes London’s Shard look like total crap, that being a measly 310m tall.

The environmental credentials of Phoenix Towers look decent enough. Solar power, yep. Wind power, natch. A thermal chimney, nice. Rainwater harvesting, cushty. Biomass boilers, saucy.

However, while these towers are due for completion in 2018 and may impress the world’s slack-jawed gawkers for a few months, one year later in 2019 the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah will be completed, besting the Phoenix by a measly seven metres and thus restoring the natural cycle of stuff oneupmanship.

Seven metres! You’d think that knowing this already as they do, the canny architects at Wuhan city HQ could arrange for a large pinwheel, pirate flag or CB radio aerial to be attached to the Phoenix Towers to preserve their height superiority. Time will tell.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

China's Phoenix Towers: pointy
China’s Phoenix Towers: pointy
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