In the face of a flailing economy and dwindling tourist dollars, Dubai presses on–this time with the Death Star-like Technosphere, a solar-powered biological bubble that will simulate the effects of climate change.
The massive sphere, which is currently under construction in Dubai’s eight-square-mile Technopark, will also feature air-purifying gardens and experimental water recycling systems to test out the possibility of bringing an Earth-like atmosphere into space. But unlike the University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2, the Technosphere isn’t all about climate simulations. The shiny orb comes with office space, residential units, and hotel rooms. The latter is expected to bring in plenty of cash to keep the Technosphere running.
Despite Dubai’s tendency to laugh in the face of energy conservation, the Technosphere isn’t the only green building complex under construction in the city. Graft Lab’s Vertical Village, a multi-use residential, hotel and entertainment complex, is expected to score a LEED Gold rating.