The Tena Tower is a massive 640,000 square meter development project for the town of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Designed by Paris based architect Manuelle Gauntrand, the Tena Tower project is meant to be an entirely energy self-sufficient oasis to draw in foreign and internal investments to Burkina Faso.

Gauntrand began her design by establishing a 180,000 square meter man-made lake to design the complex about. Although visually dominated by the 96 ft. tower on the northwest side of the development, the Tena Tower masterplan includes 80 villas, a park system, and a number of mixed used facilities to be built around the new lake.

Surrounding the lake in an emulating pattern are 14 massive groves of photovoltaic cells to power the villas and facilities. The pattern of the lake and groves were inspired by the feathers of a peacock. Parks, recreation areas, and promenades surround the lake and weave in and throughout the villa complexes.

The tower itself will house a hotel, 50 apartments, offices, and restaurants. A lace of metallic panels is extended beyond the facade, twisted to efficiently filter light but maintain views to the surrounding landscapes. Between the lace and façade will be periodic terraces to further emphasize viewing. Like a woman’s dress at the ankles, the lace lays outward at the base of the tower to cover the lobby and lower facilities.

The Tena Tower complex is the winner of a 2010 design competition for the site by real estate investment company REAL TACAMA FZE. The shear scale of the project should create hundred of construction and service jobs in the area, but the lasting effect of high end hotels and residences in developing countries is still quiet unclear. It is currently in the study phase and site work is expected to begin in 2013.

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