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Ocean Heights, located in Dubai Marina, in United Arab Emirates, is a 310-meter residential tower. The project was the recipient of the Bentley 2006 “Best Architecture” award. The design evolved to maximize views toward the ocean with a deliberate twist on three of its faces. This allows the units, even in the back, a view toward the water beyond. The 82 storey tower is planned for completion in 2008.
The building immediately starts its twist of its three faces at the base. As it rises, the tower’s floor plates reduce in size, allowing the rotation to become even more pronounced. At fifty stories, the building rises over its neighbors. This movement allows two faces of the building, unobstructed views to the ocean. The tower breaks away from the orthogonal grid and re-orients the project toward one of Dubai’s Palm Islands to the north.
A challenging aspects of the design was accommodating the client’s strict requirement of unit layouts within a changing envelope. What resulted was a rational 4-meter module, which tracks its way down through the entire building and only changes at the facade. This also considerably simplified the structural system of the project.
The shear walls were placed perpendicular to the mean of the two most extreme angels of the façade. This was done to soften the relationship between façade and partitions, minimizing how “off-perpendicular” the relationship becomes.
The shifts in geometry were taken as soft gradual moves over the 310 meters of height resulting in a sculpted and dynamic object – but with a rationalized structural system and modulized façade. It is also essential in the projects viability of having common sized residential units for Dubai’s market.
Aedas is Lead Consultant and Architect for this project.