Dubai Tower International Competition entry 2009
This tower transforms traditional two dimensional Islamic patterns into an intricate three dimensional structure within an iconic form.
The form derives from the vertical extrusion of of six superimposed hexagons radiating horizontally outward and then returning to their original horizontal position. As the hexagon rise, they carve intricate, interlaced spaces that posses great variation and complexity. These spaces are further transformed in each of the tower's similar section, joining into a single unitary body, containing hidden variation within.
Interior Perspective of Tower Looking Up
The tower's structure is experienced when a visitor moves through the body of the tower, which is not dissimilar to looking through a kaleidoscope. Upon ascending towards the top of the tower in the glass elevator, one first understands the continuous variation and symmetry of the structure. The light penetrating through solid and void spaces of the structure creates patterns that are simple yet unexpected.
The tower provides 5 levels for the visitor to touch the structure, transforming the visual experience into a tactile one. Staring outside the tower at the base, the tower appears little more than 6 angular columns. At the two cafe level, the tower reveals itself to be expansive, open and delicate, with the structure interwoven with the cafes . At the lower observation deck, the tower is cloistered and intimate, while the upper observation deck, the tower is diminutive, surrounded by the majesty of the city and sky.
Interior Perspective of Tower Looking Down
Muqarnas Dome Ceiling
Shown above is the stacked patterns which generated the tower’s form between 122 meters and 126 meters. The vertical connection between these patterns expands into a simple, elegant, beautiful structural system.
The tower is composed of a system of 12 symmetrical steel tubular bundles extending from tip to base, that provide lateral stability from the inherent rigidity of multiple triangulated forms. The interconnection of these identical structural system maintains the towers rigidity efficiently by providing resistance at the towers perimeter, and supports the 4 levels within the tower. This enables the tower’s core to remain void for both vertical transportation and views through the center.
Although the tower has a slenderness ratio of about 1:23, preliminary structural analysis shows the tower to be safe using standard materials. This is largely due to the open structure of the tower, which reduces the dominant loads from wind.
This tower’s structure is derived from the superimposition of six hexagons that expand and contract horizontally as the tower rises.
The tower sits between two water pools, connecting the tower's plaza to the existing lake. Subterranean entries from the plaza lead to the library and conference rooms. This below grade entry helps to focus the visitors attention upwards towards the tower, and coupled with the falling water, provides a moment for each visitor to quietly contemplate.
The final experience of the tower is that of descending back towards the tower's base. The view down, from the stairs or the elevator during the descent, is designed to be slightly different from the ascent, providing longer perspectival views of the structure making the return seem slower.
The journey through the tower gives each visitor a three dimensional experience of the Islamic pattern intertwined with the light, sky and city scape. In combination with the unique and iconic form, this design creates an unforgettable impression of the tower, Za'abeel Park, and Dubai.
The plan cuts shown give an indication of the rich variation that this produces, revealing the change in structure every 10 meters, then over a typical 2 meter interval and further every 1/2 meter. It is only at this final level of resolution that the continuous change in form starts to become apparent in plan.
CAFE AT 49M
A series of section perspectives looking upward at approximately 10m intervals. Continuously varied, beautifully patterned forms are inherent in the tower’s structure.
The images and design copyright 2009 Choi+Shine Architects, LLC. All rights reserved.
Contact: Choi+Shine Architects for written permission for image use.