Buildings from around the world that inspire the UAE
Ideas from Thailand to Sweden to London to Spain to Egypt at home in Dubai and Abu Dhabi
O-14 and Lightmos Building
\nO-14 is a 22-storey commercial tower with more than 300,000 square feet of office accommodation. The structure contrasts with neighbouring towers in Business Bay because of its unique, perforated exoskeleton façade. This design provides aesthetic appeal and also strengthens the core tower by reducing the lateral force of the wind and providing some protection from the harsh rays of the sun. \nO-14 mirrors the concept established by Architectkidd in their Lightmos building in Bangkok, Thailand (inset). The exterior features a similar exoskeleton-like façade that appears perforated, but with smaller openings than the tower in Dubai.
Cayan Tower and the Turning Torso
\nOpened in 2013, the Cayan Tower, reaching more than 1,000 feet into the Dubai skyline, ranks as the tallest twisting tower in the world. Each floor rotates roughly 1.2 degrees to complete a full 90-degree turn from base to top. Interestingly, the spiral design allows the structure to deflect dust and wind with greater capacity than a traditional tower of its size. \nAlthough shorter than the Cayan Tower, the Turning Torso (inset) made history upon completion in 2005 as the first twisting skyscraper in the world. The building graces the Malmö, Sweden, skyline and still holds the record as the tallest structure in the Scandinavian region.
Damac Park Towers and The Gherkin
\nDAMAC Properties finished the Damac Park Towers in Dubai in 2011, and the mixed-use development features two 49-story buildings with apartments and a business centre. Triangular glass panes cover the exterior of the rounded towers, and the alternating hues of blue reflect the Arabian sky. The buildings are home to one- to three-bedroom apartments, each with a balcony providing stunning views. The Gherkin (inset) arguably inspired the Damac Park Towers, and its innovative design has allowed it to become an iconic symbol of the London skyline.
Dubai Creek Golf Club and the Sydney Opera House
\nOpened in 1993, the Dubai Creek Golf Club stands as the most notable project completed by Godwin Austen Johnson. The innovative design of the facility led to it being depicted as a UAE landmark on the 20 dirham note. Sail- shaped canopies cover the clubhouse, which houses a dining and reception hall, a swimming pool, and terraces for relaxing by the golf course. Finished 20 years prior to the Dubai Creek Golf Club, the Sydney Opera House (inset) is a world-renowned feat of architectural design and a national symbol of Australia.
The Gate Towers and Marina Bay Sands
\nThree 66-floor residential towers connected at the top by a 300-meter sky bridge comprise Gate Towers, one of the top-selling real estate developments in Abu Dhabi. Inside the sky bridge are 21 ultra-luxury penthouses. The design team at US firm Arquitectonica aimed to create a skyscraper that invokes a sense of history, and the result bears a resemblance to Stonehenge and the Pantheon. \nSafdie Architects oversaw the development of Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands (inset), a three-tower hotel connected at the top by a sky park large enough to accommodate nearly five jumbo jets. The development includes more than 2,500 luxury hotel rooms, and it launched with an original budget of $5.7bn. In addition to the hotel, Marina Bay Sands houses two theatres, an art and science museum and a convention centre.
Capital Gate Building and the Leaning Tower of Pisa
\nCapital Gate is a skyscraper in Abu Dhabi adjacent to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre designed with a striking lean. At 160 metres and 35 stories, it is one of the tallest buildings in the city and inclines 18 degrees to the west. The owner and developer of Capital Gate is Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC). The tower, also known as the Leaning Tower of Abu Dhabi, is the focal point of the Capital Centre/Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre master development.
Raffles Hotel in Dubai and the Pyramids of Egypt
\nRaffles Dubai is a 19-storey hotel in Dubai that is built in the shape of a pyramid. The design was an inspiration taken from traditional Egyptian architecture. The hotel, located in Wafi City, features 252 rooms and suites, 6 restaurants, a spa, and a fitness centre.
Dubai Water Canal and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri
\nThe $544m Dubai Water Canal development covers an area of more than 4 million square metres, and will include 605,000 square metres of commercial use, 5,345 residential units and 948 hotel rooms.
Designed by Germany-based Kling Consult and is similar to the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm (inset), the futuristic Stargate entertainment zone in Zabeel Park is designed to be a mixture of education and family entertainment. With and area of 260,000 sq ft, the centre includes a number of attractions such as an electric go kart track, snow play area, 3D theatre, rollercoaster, and children’s shopping mall. The Aldar headquarters building is the first circular structure of its kind in the region. The distinctive building was voted the Best Futuristic Design by The Building Exchange (BEX) Conference held in Spain. The shape of this building is achieved through the use of structural diagrid, a diagonal grid of steel. It has a resemblance to the Guangzhou Circle (inset), a landmark building located in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China.