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BUILDING
 
 
Wasl Tower
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DESIGNER
 
 
UNStudio
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CONTEXT
 
Importance of the building in the territory and in the city
UNStudio, Ben van Berkel, Werner Sobek, Wasl Tower, Dubai, Green4Cities, UAE United Arab Emirates
Relationship with the location
UNStudio, Ben van Berkel, Werner Sobek, Wasl Tower, Dubai, Green4Cities, UAE United Arab Emirates
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DESCRIPTION
 
A new kind of high-rise for Dubai

UNStudio, Ben van Berkel, Werner Sobek, Wasl Tower, Dubai, Green4Cities, UAE United Arab EmiratesUNStudio, in collaboration with Werner Sobek, was invited by the Wasl Development Group to design a new kind of high-rise for the city of Dubai that would act as a benchmark for both the region and for the Wasl Development Group itself.

UNStudio, Ben van Berkel, Werner Sobek, Wasl Tower, Dubai, Green4Cities, UAE United Arab EmiratesThe project is located in an exceptional central position in Dubai’s network - along Sheikh Zayed Road, the main thoroughfare that connects the Emirates north to south - and directly opposite the Burj Khalifa and when completed will be one of the world’s tallest ceramic facades.

Dubai’s reputation as a transfer hub is rapidly transforming into one of a long stay destination, especially during the cooler winter months. The city also enjoys an impressive infrastructure. When arriving at night by plane or car it resembles an ever evolving organism in the dark desert; connecting places, people and culture.

The design concept for Wasl Tower - a slender 300 meter tall super-high-rise - reflects the notion of these connections. Adopting a classic ‘contrapposto’ movement, the mixed-use tower faces in almost every direction and offers public areas high up in the building.
Taking cultural sustainability, health and innovation to the next level
UNStudio, Ben van Berkel, Werner Sobek, Wasl Tower, Dubai, Green4Cities, UAE United Arab EmiratesBen van Berkel: “As the project strongly relates to and interconnects with Dubai’s urban experience, the aim is to make a visit to the Wasl Tower as attractive and contemporary as possible. As such a dedicated concept of health, comfort and well-being throughout was developed for the building.”

UNStudio, Ben van Berkel, Werner Sobek, Wasl Tower, Dubai, Green4Cities, UAE United Arab EmiratesUNStudio’s design is closely interlinked with the engineering and sustainability concept developed by Werner Sobek. This close cooperation defines scale, light, building physics and materialisation. In addition, smart access, communication and security provide a seamless technological base which is integrated with the architecture.

Clean materials, interactive light levels, in addition to good acoustics are implemented in all spaces throughout the building. Particularly on the public levels, when combined with a specific food experience, hosting and aesthetics, they will result in a seductive activation of the human senses.

Wasl Tower will be one of the world’s tallest ceramic facades. In consultation with the client, clay was chosen as a basic material, as such the facade fins will be manufactured as low-tech glazed ceramic elements.

The geometry of the tower achieved its holistic appearance by means of innovative parametric design and high-tech engineering. The available sustainable measures required in the broader region have been seamlessly implemented into the design.

On the facade a fine lace of inclined fins over the basic skin literally veils the geometry and provides the required ‘closed’ surfaces. These fins not only provide shade, but also reflect daylight deep into the tower’s interior.
Vertical Boulevard
UNStudio, Ben van Berkel, Werner Sobek, Wasl Tower, Dubai, Green4Cities, UAE United Arab EmiratesThe 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 and forms a green vein which also affords a glimpse of the interior of the building. The boulevard connects the outdoor with the indoor and is a unique feature for the region.

Facade lighting housed behind the fins and developed with Arup Lighting, is programmed as a rhythmic animation that breathes with the cadence of this 24-hour metropole and provides a visual connection to the city. This facade lighting is powered the energy cube pv panels located on the car park building.

UNStudio, Ben van Berkel, Werner Sobek, Wasl Tower, Dubai, Green4Cities, UAE United Arab EmiratesThe inside of the tower is equally sustainable. The mixed-use programme, comprising offices, guest rooms, public areas and apartments, presented a challenging core configuration. A smart structural concept - with three 300 metre high shear walls in the core that connect 4 large outriggers on strategic levels - gives the tower an almost free, highly efficient floorplate.

Meanwhile a vertical transport strategy is implemented to facilitate separate access to the various programmes. Three high-speed express lifts connect the four main lobbies (ground / spa /sky and rooftop) which contain most of the public programme and the main access for the hotel (at 150 metres). Four office and four guestroom lifts share the same lift shaft, while the residential apartments on the higher levels have their own designated lift-group, making direct access via the basement parking possible. In total the building provides 17 lifts, of which 5 are service elevators.

The tower is supported by a low rise car-park building which, uniquely, also houses a large, column-free ballroom on the first floor. Programming this element in this location provided the advantage that the ground floor lobby now spans the full premises and creates a ‘walled’ garden, providing shade and cooling, even during the summer months.

The roof of the car park building is a large outdoor pool deck and is connected to the spa lobby in the tower via a pedestrian bridge, which provides access for all guests and visitors.
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VIDEO
 
 
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ECO-SUSTAINABILITY'
 
UNStudio, Ben van Berkel, Werner Sobek, Wasl Tower, Dubai, Green4Cities, UAE United Arab Emirates
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LOCATION
 
Continent
Asia
Nation
United Arab Emirates [Al-Imarat al-'Arabiya al Muttahida]
Emirate
Dubai
Town
Dubai
Address
Sheikh Zayed Road
 
 
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MAP
 
 
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TYPOLOGY
 
Main
ARCHITECTURE
Residential buildings
Multiple dwelling
Buildings for offices and professional practises
Offices
Buildings for travel and tourism
Hotels
Urban equipment and structures for public areas
Panoramic structures, belvederes
Vertical architectures
Skyscrapers
Additional
ARCHITECTURE
Buildings for health and well-being
Wellness centre
Buildings for recreational activities
Dance halls, discotheques, ballrooms
Sports buildings
Gyms and swimming pools
Transport buildings and structures
Garages, car parking, etc.
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CHRONOLOGY
 
Project
2014 - 2016    
Realisation
2016 - 2020
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CLIENT
 
 
Wasl LLC Asset Management Group
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DIMENSIONAL
DATA
 
Height
m. 302
Surface
gross floor sq.m. 106,534
built up sq.m. 168,081
site sq.m. 8,785
Volume
m³ 840,000
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STRUCTURES
 
 
Werner Sobek
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LANDSCAPE DESIGN
 
 
Green4Cities
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STAFF
 
Project
UNStudio
Associate designers
Werner Sobek
Design team
Ben van Berkel, Gerard Loozekoot, Frans van Vuure with Harlen Miller, Crystal KH Tang, Nick Marks and Megan Hurford, Machiel Wafelbakker, Derrick Diporedjo, Matthew Harisson, Aleksandra Sliwinska, Pietro Scarpa, Mihai Soltuz, Fernando Herrera, Jung Jae Suh, Jae Geun Ahn, Henk van Schuppen, Elizabeth White, Pieter Doets and Dana Behrman, Roman Kristesiashvili, Filippo Lodi, Rene Wysk, Hans Kooij, Nanang Santoso, Thomas van Bekhoven, Ka Shin Lu, Patrik Noome, Philip Wilck, Shankar Ramakrishan, Meng Zhang.
Planning and organization
Werner Sobek [Stuttgart]
Structural consultant
Werner Sobek [Stuttgart]
Facades consultant
Werner Sobek [Stuttgart]
Sustainability
Werner Sobek Green Technologies [Stuttgart]
Acoustical consultant
Werner Sobek Green Technologies [Stuttgart]
Systems
Werner Sobek [London]
Seed [Dubai] (local consultant)
Architect of record
U+A Architects [Dubai]
Lighting engineer
Arup [Amsterdam]
Landscape design
Green4Cities [Vienna]
Quantity surveyor
Kulkarni Quantity Surveyors [Dubai]
Fire safety
Aecom [Dubai]
Vertical transportation
Dunbar & Boardman / TUV Sud [London]
Audiovisual design
Shen Milson Wilke
Kitchen Consultant
Sefton Horn Winch
Pool Engineering
Barr & Wray [Dubai]
Interior design
UNStudio [Amsterdam] (residential)
GA Design [London] (hotel)
AB Concept [Hong Kong] (food and beverage)
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CREDITS
 
 
Render © Methanoia, Plompmozes, UNStudio
Drawings © UNStudio
Video © Methanoia, UNStudio
Text edited by UNStudio
Courtesy of UNStudio

UNStudio, Ben van Berkel, Werner Sobek, Wasl Tower, Dubai, Green4Cities, UAE United Arab Emirates



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