site area: 7.6ha
gross floor area: 1,500,000m2
type: commercial offices, residential, hotel + retail
the ‘vertical city’ inherent in this unique and audacious building concept proposes a dramatic rethinking of the tall building type.
instead of different functions being vertically stacked within a tower, here they are embedded within one another, generating lateral connections and a significantly more mixed, diverse and vibrant outcome.
the design establishes the potential for new integrated patterns of working and living, the two predominant functional activities, supplemented by retail, hotel, leisure, sports and entertainment facilities, public spaces and gardens, all on a ‘vertical’ super-scale.
the project’s dramatic cantilevers, of 90m and 120m, which give the project its truly iconic form, are achieved using the structural logic of long-span suspension bridges: that of a vertical structural tower-core from which the horizontal structure is hung and propped to form a large suspension truss.
when allied to the simple principle of balancing the cantilevered masses to either side of the central tower-core, seemingly impossible spans become possible.
the facades of this vertical city were based on a highly original analysis of arabic geometry and its intricate, dynamic patterns. rather than being based on a direct, repeated application of historic precedents, they have been developed as a transformation of the intricate overlays and arrangements of lines and figures that define these geometries.
applying new concepts of pattern relationships in dynamic composition, the facades emerge as multilayered surfaces with varying degrees of openness, translucency, transparency and opacity.