Guggenheim-Inspired Observation Tower Proposed for Downtown Phoenix
A diagram from Bjarke Ingels Group depicting how the Guggenheim Museum inspired the observation tower's design.
Lead architect Bjarke Ingels stated in a press release that the ascending/descending spiral shape of the sphere was inspired in part by the legendary Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Guggenheim Museum in New York City.
"Like the Guggenheim offers visitors a unique art experience descending around its central void, the motion at The Pin is turned inside-out allowing visitors to contemplate the surrounding city and landscape of Phoenix," Ingels says. "Like a heavenly body hovering above the city the Pin will allow visitors to descend from pole to pole in a dynamic three-dimensional experience seemingly suspended in midair."
Ingles also says that the tower was also designed to resemble a pin in a map in order to represent a destination place.
Another artist's conception of the sphere's interior.
"Like the monsoons, the haboobs and the mountains of the surrounding Arizonian landscape, the Pin becomes a point of reference and a mechanism to set the landscape in motion through the movement of the spectator," he states.
The modernist, almost space age-style design of the tower and its spiral sphere has earned both praise and plenty of snark since it was unveiled. One commenter on geek site io9 mused about "how much electrostatic charge it'll pick up during haboobs" before comparing the structure to a sex toy, while another reader was a bit more optimistic.
"I see fantastic sunsets and a growing art culture," they stated.
An artist's conception of the interior of the observation tower's spiral sphere.