Santiago Calatrava’s iconic structure combines modern, sustainable design with the rich culture of the United Arab Emirates
New designs for architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava’s landmark observation tower in the Dubai Creek Harbour have been unveiled. Calatrava’s monumental design, chosen out of six proposals from competing firms, is influenced by the natural forms of the lily and evokes the shape of a minaret, a distinctive architectural feature in Islamic culture.
“It has been an enormous honour to participate in this project. My team and I greatly appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with a renowned firm like Emaar Properties,” said Mr. Calatrava. “The building’s design is inspired by the Islamic tradition, evoking the same history that brought the world the Alhambra and the Mosque of Cordoba. These architectural marvels combine elegance and beauty with math and geometry. The design of the tower of Dubai Creek Harbour is rooted in classical art and the culture of Dubai itself. It is also a major technological achievement. Throughout my career I have used technology and engineering as a vehicle for beauty and art. This project is an artistic achievement, inspired by the goal of making this space a meeting point for citizens, not only from Dubai and the UAE but all across the world. It is a symbol of belief in progress."
“The design by Santiago Calatrava, chosen after a competitive pitch from the world’s top architects, was a perfect fit to our requirement for a landmark that defined our urban core for Dubai Creek Harbour. It integrates not just design excellence but also strong environmental and smart-tech considerations. With the tower, we are delivering a compelling destination that will add long-term economic value to Dubai and the Emirates,” said Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties. “It will also position Dubai Creek Harbour as one of the most desired residential, leisure and touristic attractions, providing tourists and residents with a modern, luxurious and sustainable environment in which to live, work, learn and entertain.”
The iconic structure combines modern, sustainable design with the rich culture and heritage of the United Arab Emirates. The building’s numerous observation decks are part of an elongated, oval-shaped bud at the top of the tower. The slender stem serves as the spine of the structure and the cables linking the building to the ground are reminiscent of the delicate ribbing of the lily’s leaves. The structure also provides a beacon of light at night, with lighting that will emphasize the flower-bud design of the building.
The tower is located in the centre of Dubai Creek Harbour, a six sq km world-class development located on Dubai Creek. Dubai Creek has long been Dubai’s centre of history and culture and is in close proximity to the Ras Al Khor National Wildlife Sanctuary.