by Alexander MacMillan Whiteway



Project Description

Client : VCU Brandcenter Creative Thinking Assignment

Location : NYC, NY, USA

Target : Holistic Lifestyle Enthusiasts / Metaphysicists / Yoginis 


Brief: I was asked to design a building with a unique novelty function.

Opportunity: I thought about what inspires me as a human being, and what about the human form in general is special. My practice in yoga has lead me to an understanding of the human aura, produced by the subtle energetic body, which is maintained by the alignment of the chakras at the core of our being.

Then I looked at buildings which already exist that were interesting to me. Over in the Middle East, you will find what feels almost like a competition for the tallest building, with the most unique shape. You'll find buildings that look like a flame, or a spiraling DNA strand, completely covered with glass, giving a transparent reflective effect that catches the blues, pinks, purples and grays of the sky. 

Problem: Besides the visual effect, not many buildings had actually been built with a greater novelty function that brought in crowds of people for the enjoyment. There were some, the infinity pool atop Marina Bay Sands, the 1,000 ft. ski slope hotel in Kazakhstan, a few animal-shaped buildings scattered across the lands, Ice Hotels, Theme Park Malls, and so on. 

Solution: Design a building that functions similarly to how I imagine the process of enlightenment to occur through the movement of chi through the energy centers - the chakras.

The inner core of Chakra 6 Sky tower is a thirty ft. wide circular "Meditation Elevator". This elevator can be set to run at different rising speeds, so visitors can plan to enjoy either a 15, or 30 minute mindfulness meditation.

Imagine entering the building and purchasing a ticket for one of the meditation sessions, entering the meditation elevator, finding a seat on a comfortable pad, and preparing to rise into a higher state of awareness.

From the bottom level, to the top level at 2893', just surpassing the tallest building in the world, you would pass through color phases as you rise that represent each of the six chakras that our body holds within it. A surround sound speaker system would play the specific resonating tone of that chakra. 

Why Chakra 6 and not 7? I decided that the 7th Chakra, the Crown Chakra, exists just above our heads, which means that it would only be reachable by taking off in the helicopter from the helipad atop the building. 



Conceptualization and 3D Google SketchUp Design


Alexander M. Whiteway