The Chronotower

Every great city requires a tower of time, and Heliopoli is no exception.

Whether it is a clock tower that ticks away the minutes or a bell tower that chimes the hour, any city must root itself in time as it does in space. Fine examples are Big Ben, the Belfry of Bruges, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Dom Tower of Utrecht, the Torre dos Clerigos, the Swan Bells of Perth, the Cathedral of St. Agustin in Texas, and the Chronotower of Heliopoli.

The Chronotower of Heliopoli is a soaring single spire, a paroxysm of minimalism. Take note of how sunlight sparks off of it; listen to the sound it makes as the wind blows past. The sound is not of bells, however, nor the ticking of gears. There are no bells in the Chronotower and no clocks. There are no mechanisms in the tower that record time whatsoever. The Chronotower indicates time by its very structure.

The architects of Heliopoli sought a dynamic marriage between the very old and the very new. Look up, look down, and you know the time — except at night.

The Chronotower of Heliopoli is a 555-foot-tall sundial.