China may soon lay claim to the tallest buildings in the world, a pair that could save the planet—or at least make a dent in the city of Wuhan's pollution. The Creators Project reports that a London-based architect has revealed plans for the two mammoth buildings, the tallest of which will reach 3,281 feet, or a full kilometer, into the air. But they won't just soar above Dubai's 2,717-foot Burj Khalifa for the heck of it. The Phoenix Towers' taller building would actually filter Wuhan's air, as well as water from its polluted lake, using a mechanical system designed to harness solar, wind, and hydrogen power. The buildings will also harvest rainwater and feature a huge vertical garden.
"In China if you come up with a slightly mad idea, it's almost not mad enough," the founder of Chetwoods Architects tells Dezeen. "They wanted to take the Eiffel Tower experience on a stage further. It doesn't just stand there and become an iconic symbol of Wuhan, it has to do a job." He adds the design is based on the mythological Chinese phoenix, a pair of birds—the tallest tower will be the male, the shorter the female—and could break ground in the next year, assuming the mayor approves the plan. It'll take at least three years to complete at a cost of more than $2 billion, the Guardian notes.