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RTA Headquarters, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Monday 10 Mar 2008

All eyes on the watchtower

Zwarts & Jansma Architects 
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27/10/09 Laith Tawfeeq, Dubai
Dear sir:

Zwarts & Jansma Architects were only involved in the image design of the project. As I am the Planning & Design Manager of infrastructure projects in RTA, Dubai, I have appointed another firm to carry on the concept design and finalize tender drawings. I am afraid you could face a law suit if this matter has not been corrected. Please refer back to February 2008 issue of Architecture Gulf magazine for more info.

Laith Tawfeeq
Planning & Design Manager
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New RTA Headquarters designed by Zwarts & Jansma Architects 

Zwarts & Jansma Architects won the competition for the design of the new headquarters of the Road & Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai 2007. RTA HQ will be built in an artificial lake at Al Garhoud on Marrakech Road, adjacent to the new Ras Al Khor Bridge and neighbouring the new interchange of Rabat Road and Marrakech Road.

The site is an excellent habitat for the headquarters of an organisation responsible for traffic. RTA HQ will stand as a watchtower overlooking a landscape of infrastructure embedded by the natural beauty of the Dubai Creek and the green zone of Festival City. The crossing of waterways, highways and subways has been a key-factor in the development of both the architectural concept and the landscaping.

RTA HQ is a glass crystal with Venetian blinds. The angled surfaces of the building derive from the site. The reflection of sunlight changes the appearance of the facades during the day. The façade facing the new Ras al Khor Bridge will be covered with a grid of LED-lights: a ‘billboard’ showing images, animations or information to the flow of traffic crossing the creek.

RTA HQ will be built in an artificial lake. During office hours, different features will make the water swirl and turn, in the evening the surface will become quiet. The light-effects then take over, reflecting the building and the city's traffic. The level of the lake is slightly above that of the surrounding area. Underneath it are a publicly accessible exposition space and a congress facility.

Access to the building is provided in three different ways. The congress facility and exposition space are accessible by descending stairs that run over the full length of the northern part of the plot. Staff and employees enter the building through the car park. Taxi drivers drop off visitors on an eye-catching fly-over crossing the artificial lake, right in front of the elevators in the entrance hall.

Key Facts

Status Construction starts Q1 2008
Value 0(m€)
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Zwarts & Jansma Architecten

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