Architecture firm Goettsch Partners (GP) has recently designed the flagship commercial development for Al Hilal Bank in the heart of Abu Dhabi's Al Maryah Island. The new speculative office tower is located in the Emirate's developing new central business district, accessible from the surrounding services. The 24-storey tower includes office and retail space, with 1,000 parking spaces for tenants and visitors. "The new tower creates a distinctive architectural form, which is expected in the region," said James Goettsch, FAIA, president of Goettsch Partners. "At the same time, the building offers very efficient floor plates that are atypical in the local market."
Challenged to define a distinctive image that would reflect the bank's unique brand while also setting an international aesthetic, GP designed a bold, contemporary tower that shifts in massing as it rises. The podium contains a retail banking facility as well as a dramatic three-story transparent lobby to the north, with pedestrian arcades on the east and west. Three cubical masses sit atop the podium, stacked like shifted blocks. The unique design is optimally efficient, created using column-free spaces within. These forms derive their interest from a 'push-and-pull' effect at the corners. In addition, the building's façade changes at the created voids to accentuate the shifted aesthetic.
The elegantly designed façade consists of an aluminum-and-glass curtain wall system with glass and notched metal-spandrel elements which give it a timeless aesthetic. In addition there are vertical glass fins that enhance the building's verticality while also providing shading. The new tower offers maximum transparency, with floor-to-ceiling glass providing spectacular views for occupants while significantly increasing the amount of natural daylight inside. The project is designed and scheduled to receive an Estidama 1 Pearl rating.