Lusail Iconic Structure - Cumulus

Location: Lusail, Qatar

Sector: Culture, Civic and Sacred

Cost: £88m

Status: Concept

Height: 250m

Cumulus is a 250m high Iconic Gateway Structure around which a dynamic spectacle will be created by ‘printing’ clouds of desalinated water vapour. The unique combination of monumental structure and cutting edge artistic spectacle will become a globally recognizable symbol of Lusail, marking its status as a local, regional and international exemplar.

Situated in the heart of the marina, the Iconic Structure will be visible along the commercial boulevard framed between the Lusail Towers. Visitors and residents will be able to catch glimpses of the structure and its vapour clouds from across the city and also when approaching by land, air or sea.

The timeless simplicity of the gateway structure is coupled with a spectacular ephemeral effect which has never before been seen on this scale. The concept is to amplify the visibility of the structure by creating a new skyline across the seaward view from the city.The design team chose a clean modern form for the structure and a dynamic surrounding spectacle of printed clouds. The clouds of water vapour will be ‘printed’ using desalinated seawater pumped through controllable jets mounted in the edge of the structure. The concept allows for a constantly changing programmable effect, according to prevailing winds. At night a scheduled light show will illuminate the cloud-scape and the programmable nature of the spectacle will enable effects to be created to celebrate special occasions and events. The structure will paint a dynamic moving spectacle across the sky above the Arabian Gulf.

The local climate, landscape and a link to marine life were important influences leading to the decision to emphasise strong ties to water and the marine environment. The Iconic Structure will be clad in coral stone, and the pattern of the façade is also influenced by the geometry of natural coral formations. This is a hard wearing practical cladding solution for the coastal location and also makes reference to the influence of marine flora and fauna. An acrylic tunnel will be built beneath the sea, in a pearling marina, from which visitors will be able to observe life under the sea as well as pearl diving ‘shows’, as if they themselves were pearl divers. Maritime legends and myths of the Qatar region will also be interpreted in the visitor centre.