Abu Dhabi builds monumental retail park in new business district
Over 3 million sq ft of office space designed by American firm Goettsch Partners has been commissioned for Abu Dhabi’s Sowwah Island in the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi’s recently published urban framework plan, entitled Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, has designated Sowwah Square as the city’s new central business district.
The new design features an iconic stock exchange building surrounded by four office towers overlooking the water. Two levels of retail and underground parking will also add to the monumental build. The stock exchange building will itself offer 233,000 sq ft of space. Glass-enclosed with a roof the size of a football field, the building will rise 90 ft above a 160-ft-diameter water feature on massive stone piers. The four granite piers house the stairs, mechanical risers and service elements for the exchange.
The four office towers contribute 2,892,500 sq ft to the total mass, two of which are at 31 storeys and the other two at 37. The first full office floor of each building starts 110 feet above the ground level, providing a highly transparent, open lobby and elevating the views on all tenant floors. A landscaped plaza connects the four buildings and the exchange at grade.
250,000 sq ft of upscale retail space and two partially submerged parking lots with room for 5,200 cars will complete the park.
Active and passive solar shading, double skin facades, condensation collection and active lighting controls are all to be used allowing the project to surpass LEED requirements and focus on true sustainability.
James Goettsch, president of GP, stated, “Sowwah Square will establish the major new business center in Abu Dhabi and serve as a hub for the Middle East. As the city continues its rapid development, the project will set an international standard of design and technical quality.”
Construction commenced on the site of Sowwah Square in summer 2007, with the full development scheduled for completion in 2010.
Niki May Young