Art > Architecture > The Tower of Light



The Tower of Light


  Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Structure: Steel, Kevlar, Composites
Height: 157 meters
Triangular base: 11 meters each side

Fully enveloped by two layers of glass, the outer glass is reinforced thermal structure, the inner layer is of UMU glass. The projections are created by a remotely operated High Definition Laser video system.
Cost: estimated $200 million USD

This project was fully developed and officially presented to The Royal Family in March of 1996.

"The Tower of Light" is a creation born through the collaboration of the minds from all corners of the world including local artists from the UAE. During the day it stands high over the reflecting pool and the surrounding landscape created by architect Mineo Mori. The entire surface of this needle-like structure is covered by glass, almost transparent in the glowing sun. During the night, "The Tower of Light" turns to a real LIGHT FROM THE HEAVENS, the entire side of it becoming the gigantic screen. Between dusk and dawn Sawka's kinetic images constantly change, sometimes turning purely abstract, on other occasions showing the landscapes, seascapes, images of space, fauna, sky any Earth or colorful patterns modeled after traditional Arabic mosaics and ornaments. The music composed by famous Ed Sumerlin based on Arabic motifs follows the images.

The towers itself is a 21st century architectural wonder being more than 150 meters high and only 11 meters across. Sumitimo Construction will design and build such structural marvel. One wall of tower will be covered with special active UMU glass, the perfect surface for the nightly screening of the images; the other two walls will be shaded by thermal glass, changing its color during the day and defending delicate glass projectors and lighting system inside from overheating. All created by Nippon Sheet Glass. The electronic systems of kinetic projections and lighting in and outside the tower will be designed by the Toho Studios, the company who excels in movie, sound and special effects productions.




All artworks/images copyright Jan Sawka Estate