(1993) HE Hamad Al Badi Tower

client : HE Hamad Al Badi
typology : Mixed-Use Residential & Retail
services : Architecture
where : Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Retrospective 1991-2000 video: https://www.instagram.com/p/CPyTSojDdNX/

This residential building is located on Sheikh Zayed road, a commercial and busy street of Abu Dhabi. For this reason, the brief included the development of a small mall to benefit from the commercial aspect of the location. This mall would obviously occupy the floors in direct contact with the main street. It is 4000 sqm and occupies the basement, first, second and third floors. The following 16 stories contain 4 residential apartments per floor.

To design challenge in this building was to separate the two main functions in the sense of traffic flow, access and privacy. At the same time, the building as a whole must maintain a harmony in its volume as one entity. The two issues function and shape are treated simultaneously by the architect to insure a successful design. In the matter of functionality, the residential part of the tower has its own entrance from the back where a large car park is located to serve the tenants. The shopping mall on the other hand, does not interfere with the privacy of the residences as it has its own access for both visitors and delivery traffic.

In the matter of the overall shape and appearance of the building as a whole, the part where the floors are used by the shopping mall is designed to be the base element that carries the vertically elongated tower. As is usual in Cassia’s sculpting style of structures; this base is ornamented with flat and curved layering of stone cladding. They provide an elegant frame for the large shopping windows and a harmonious introduction for the protruding cantilevered part of the tower.

Four massive columns of granite are located on the 4 corners of the base. Gray in comparison to the sandy color of all the rest of the outdoor cladding, they stand out as strengthening base elements. The mass of the building continues with a high definition, stretching from those columns all the way to the top. This stretch is emphasized by the highlighted corners that contrast from the rest of the building envelope. This is due to the series of small, thorn shaped and dark, balconies. It also has a definition of its top end apparent in what seems to be like a simple crown decorated at its top middle on every side.