Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Dubai Dancing Towers by Zaha Hadid

Here is a comprehensive set of images of the Dancing Towers development in Business Bay, Dubai, designed by Zaha Hadid.

The project was launched last year and, when complete, will consist of three interlinking towers containing offices, apartments and a hotel.

Below is a statement from the architect:
Architectural Project Narrative
Designing an Icon
Zaha Hadid’s design for the Dancing Towers confirms the role of Business Bay Development at the very forefront of Dubai’s rapidly changing future. The three towers rise above the creek and project themselves as an icon for the surrounding developments and for the gulf region.
The tower’s striking design creates a new presence that punctures the skyline with a powerful recognizable
silhouette. The fluid character of the towers is generated through an intrinsically dynamic
composition of volumes.
The towers are inter-twinned to share programmatic eleme
nts and rotate to maximize the views from the site towards the creek and neighbouring
The design quality of the towers to act as a symbol and icon extends beyond their scale and location. These qualities a
re derived from the boldness of the architectural concept, from
the ‘choreographed’ movement that combines the three towers in one overall gesture and
‘weaves’ with a series of public spaces through the podium, the bridges and the landscape
There will, in the future, become a silhouette of towers, whose pinnacles will represent the
hearts of the new districts within the greater metropolitan area of Dubai.

On the ground, the Business Bay development site will
become stitched into the proposed extended road and infrastructure network of the
enlarged metropolitan area. The new pedestrian routes and roads passing under and
around the Towers development will extend across the creek, bringing people
directly from Sheikh Zayed Road via a grid of major and minor thoroughfares and
Connectivity and Public Space
The site is composed by 4
different parts: (A) central circular plot, (B) an elongated park plot, (C) the surface of t
he creek on axis of plot A and (D) a rectangular plot across the creek at the west margin.
Connectivity between these parts becomes therefore central to the project; in order to
produce an articulated design that encompasses both the scale and the different qualities of each of the parts,
transforming them into a coherent scheme.
The circular shape of the plot and attached vehicular
circulation layout creates a barrier of vehicular traffic around the site, generating an
island that detaches the plot from the waterfront promenade.
By incorporating the design of two new link bridges and a new ground the project effectively multiplies the potential and
connectivity of the site, linking the park at the East - via the
towers with the water’s edge at the West margin of the creek.
The site’s spectacular location at the waterfront engages the project in the continuous
promenade that links through the whole development. By converting the semi-circular
road into a tunnel next to the waterfront the proposal
releases the ground surface to the pedestrian, significantly enlarging the public space of
the promenade. The podium addresses the waterfront by
extending it’s landscape across and inducing pedestrian
movement into the promenade at ground level.
The enclosed bridges allow
for people to walk from one point to the other in a comfortable shaded
environment. During the summer the bridges would be fully air conditioned. During t
he winter they would be opened and operate with natural cross ventilation.
The bridge across the creek has a double deck that allows
for two different uses: one fast - crossing the creek aided by escalators and travelators, a
nd the other slow with the
possibility of having a restaurants and shops on it’s
wider section. We envisage plot D as a landing building attached to the bridge,
programmed with leisure or entertainment activities.
This ‘habitable’ bridge, with it’s prominent location at the centre of the creek’ - it’s own
programme and design - will undoubtedly establish itself as an icon in it’s own right: a
destination for Dubai, attracting local public and foreign tourists alike.
The bridge to the east, links the park (B) with the retail podium and the Offices’ tower. The
design of the park carefully knits the built environment with nature. The proposed soft
landscape and water features create a more intimate
atmosphere, with a terrace of restaurants and bars embedded at the end of the
The creek waterside promenade and the park
promenade address the water elements in two different scales of intervention. The creek public promenade offers the pub
lic broad views and vistas. The park provides a more intimate scale surrounded by the trees.
The two interventions enrich the overall development by creating a diversity of spaces that allow
for multiple uses and different ambiances.
In the proposal a new ground is created with a raised landscape, additional levels that contain programme underneath. Under the great arch formed by the merging of the Residential and the Hotel towers, this canyon - like arch space extends linking the two sides of the site and breaking the perimeter circulation. Arrival at the Hotel drop-off is done under the arch and plaza - townscape, with reception and concierge services, lounge area, as well as bars and restaurants underneath.

This canyon - like space between the towers has a seamless character, connecting the landscape around the podium, with a proposed network of pedestrian paths weaving around the base of the three towers and the podium various entrances and drop-offs. In the interior, the canyon links the two cores of the Hotel with the podium.
Programming of public and private life is an active tool to inject life into the space, integrating new layers of activity and landscape, creating a network of synergetic uses that can develop a new urban ecology.
The programme was addressed as a whole with the three towers corresponding directly to the three main functions: offices, hotel and residential. Together, the towers generate a critical mass of sustainable programmatic relationships.

The towers share a common base / podium, designed as a materialized shadow of the towers and programmed with retail, restaurants and amenities that support the demand from the tower’s population. The podium also contains peripheral functions of the Hotel like the Banquet Hall complex and all the residential car parking.

Under the podium 4 levels of basement accommodate all the necessary heavy back of house / servicing programme, underground technical and plant rooms and car parking for the Retail and Hotel (1st basement) and for the Offices (remaining 3 basements).

The podium terraces / rooftops create outdoor spaces for leisure and recreation, featuring public swimming pools, spa, sports areas and esplanade restaurants. The textured landscape quality of these terraces creates a new ground that interconnects between the towers.
The three towers are conjoined two by two, the Offices and the Hotel at the base and the Hotel and the Residential at the top. Through these adjacencies, the towers are strategically organized in a symbiotic relation, sharing certain segments of the programme.
On the 7th level, the floor plates of the Hotel and the Office towers merge creating a link to the Hotel Business Centre (part of the Offices tower) with meeting rooms, office facilities and services for guests.

The Residential tower shares a core with the hotel, enabling all the back of house / servicing spine to be combined. At 38th level, where the floor plates merge, the apartment residents can share some of the collective programme of the Hotel, like the indoor swimming pool and other amenities.

At the top of the Hotel, 65th Level, the three towers share a panoramic restaurant with breathtaking views over the creek, Business Bay Development area, Burj Dubai downtown, and the Gulf beyond.
The advantage of conjoining the three towers in one organism, resides in the fact that the development can be lived in a full day cycle: anchored in it’s residential population, it reaches the peak of activity during office hours and it mutates through the diversity of the ever-changing population of the hotel.
The heterogeneous population mix creates a cosmopolitan urban environment, constantly energized and renovated through it’s own life.


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