Layer by layer

Sian
Wednesday 23 May 2012

The sheer nature as medium for a new development area in Dubai

D1 is an 80-store retail and residential tower on the shore of Dubai Creek in the UAE. It is to be one of the showpieces of a new development area called 'The Culture Village'. There are two main components of the development, the glass tower itself and an elegant timber canopy screen at the base.

For the overall tower design Sunland was inspired by the Sydney Olympic Torch and the Q1 tower on the Gold Coast in Australia. Innovarchi was asked to re-design the facades to emphasise the sheer nature of the layered glass curtain wall. Like the petals of a rose, the primary facades are conceived as a series of delicate layers to protect against the harsh environment.

The facade layers are continuous, monolithic, smooth and seamless, without texture. The pure silver, mildly reflective skin covers a highly refined, sculptural profile with a series of mysteriously changing qualities. It will constantly charm as it changes according to the time of day and direction it is viewed.

The canopy around the base was inspired by the craft of Dhow trading boat construction. These boats were being built on the site right up to the commencement of the development. The dramatic undulating canopy acts as a moderator between the air conditioned internal spaces and the bright and hot exterior, providing a comfortable shaded outdoor environment.

The podium canopy also moderates between three scales: 1. the High Speed Freeway / Urban Landmark Scale, 2. The Precinct Scale 3. The Human Scale. The Mashrabia-like device will adopt traditional techniques of passive climatic control to create a generous welcoming space underneath.

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