Just in time for a certain green-hued holiday, here’s a look at a conceptual skyscraper that would leave even the patron saint of Ireland shaking in his boots.
Dubbed Asian Cobra Skyscraper for obvious reasons, this highly conspicuous ophidian office tower conceived by eccentric Russian billionaire Vasily Klyukin joins a diverse menagerie of zoological-themed mimetic architecture. It’s also very much in line with the previous design dabblings of a Moscow-born, Monaco-based banking magnate-cum-sculptor-cum-fiction writer-cum-space tourist whose building concepts each boast a “pronounced individuality” and “unique shape” that render them “symbols of the city, or even the country.”
A 21st century renaissance man with a boatload of cash and a runaway imagination, Klyukin’s other architectural designs — fun, fanciful and aggressively flamboyant — consist of large edifices shaped like tulips, pears, lips, jaguars, icebergs, bottles of champagne, hourglasses, swans, sailboats, spider webs, spacecraft and the Venus de Milo. And then there’s Top Sexy Tower NYC, which is basically the Leg Lamp from “A Christmas Story” in high-rise form.
As for Asian Cobra Skyscraper, it’s a purely speculative concept that doesn’t necessarily belong to a specific city or country. Klyukin is obviously targeting a major Asian city, although in one rendering his serpentine tower is imagined next to Sir Norman Foster’s iconic neo-futuristic glass pickle, 30 St. Mary Axe, aka the Gherkin, in London.
The dizzying skylines of Shanghai and Hong Kong appear repeatedly in Klyukin’s renderings. These two cities might prove be a bit problematic if Klyukin ever wants to see Asian Cobra Skyscraper built, given that the Chinese government isn’t too keen on outlandish architecture these days.
However, the tower, as the Klyukin site points out, is reflective of Chinese culture. Whereas Westerners might get a serious case of the heebie-jeebies at the sight of a menacing reptilian skyscraper, Chinese citizens would see it as a revered “symbol of wisdom and eternal life.”
Snakes and dragons are custodians of threshold, temples, treasure, esoteric knowledge and all lunar gods. If this skyscraper is built in a city this city will become eternal in its resurrections.
The diamond-shaped pattern on the back of the snake is the symbol of Yang and Yin, duality and reunification of the Sun and the Moon, male and female principles, conciliation of opposites, and androgyny.
Klyukin goes on to note that while his fanged skyscraper with a coiled base-tail could house apartments and/or commercial office space, the terraced area within the cobra’s jaws would most certainly be home to a fancy restaurant or nightclub. And instead of shedding like an honest to goodness snake (because that would not be good), Asian Cobra Skyscraper would regularly molt by changing colors at night.
Again, Asian Cobra Skyscraper is purely speculative. There’s no client and there are no concrete design details as of yet — just a batch of wild artistic renderings and a loose vision that can be interpreted as either culturally relevant or completely terrifying. Whatever the case, it’s fun to imagine which super villain, comic book or otherwise, would take up residence in Klyukin’s beyond-bonkers design. I'm thinking it's a shoo-in for slithering Disney baddie Jafar ...