The location of this standout tower is strategic, in an exceptionally central position, framed by Dubai’s famous Burj Khalifa and the new City Walk Development. The tower acts as the point of convergence between these two key Dubai locations, attracting people from every side.
Within Dubai’s impressive infrastructure, the tower is located along Sheikh Zayed Road, which connects the Emirates North to South. When approaching Downtown Dubai from the International Airport, the wasl Tower mirrors the Burj Khalifa on the other side of the ‘SZR’, where there are as yet no other high-rise buildings. To connect the two areas, a pedestrian bridge connects the wasl Tower to Burj Khalifa metro station. Reflecting the diversity of Dubai’s metropolitan activity, the building is programmed for mixed-use, with central public areas located high up in the building.
The wasl Tower has one of the world’s tallest ceramic facades, cloaked with gentle ceramic features. Clay was chosen as a basic material for this facade, as such the facade fins will be manufactured as low-tech glazed ceramic elements. This fine lace of fins over the basic skin literally veils the geometry. These fins only shade the facade, but also reflect daylight deep into the tower’s interior. The direction of the fins (12.8 degrees), as well as the dimensions and materialisation, have all been developed using the parametric data from the design model. This holistic facade is decorated with autonomously generated light patterns that breaths with the rhythm of the city.
The scale, lighting, design and engineering of the inner and the outdoor spaces took inspiration from the sustainable protocol, “Good for the People, Good for the Environment”. Smart communication, security and access strategies provide a seamless technological foundation on which this sustainable pledge was integrated in the building. The open seam that runs the full height of the tower forms a ‘vertical boulevard’ which is topped by infinity pools on the tower roof. This seam is created by a stacking of outdoor balconies, forming a green vein along the building’s silhouette, and allowing a glimpse of the interior. This boulevard connects the outdoor with the indoor, which is a unique feature for this region. Clean materials, interactive light levels, and deliberated acoustics are implemented in all spaces throughout the building, with a particular focus on public levels, where culinary experience, hosting and aesthetics come together to heighten visitor experiences.
Concept and Design
Concept and Design
- Light and Shade
- Vertical Transport Strategy
StructureDesigned around its Z-axis and adopting a classic ‘contrapposto’ movement, the wasl Tower faces almost every direction. The geometry of the tower achieved its holistic appearance by means of innovative parametric design and high-tech engineering. Every part of the design is connected by itself and its counterparts.
The mixed-use programme, comprising offices, guest rooms, public areas and apartments, presented a challenging core configuration. A smart structural concept -three 300m high shear walls in the core that connect 4 large outriggers on strategic levels - gives the tower an almost free, highly efficient, floorplate while maintaining movement at the top.
Light and ShadeBy day, the ceramic elements of the façade creates a natural cooling system through heat loss and shading techniques.
By night, the facade lighting, designed by Arup, is housed behind ceramic fins and is programmed to breathe with the rhythm of this 24-hour metropolis while providing a visual connection to the city. This lighting system is powered by energy cube pv panels located on the car park building. The light installation continues into the interior of both the ground floor and the sky lobby, where it becomes more solid.