(2001) Faraj Bin Hamoodah Towerclient : HE Faraj Bin Hamoodah
typology : Residential Highrise
services : Architecture
where : Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
This is a schematic design of a 9500 sqm residential building in Abu Dhabi. The brief called for a modern and unique concept with a “particular emphasis on the building shape”.
The ground floor was developed with the intention of affording the residents and tenants with the best possible entrance given the site context and functional requirements. It was decided therefore to use the northeast side for the apartment and offices entrances and the southwest side for the commercial entrances. With the main circulation core on the northern side of the building, the commercial spaces on the ground, basement and mezzanine levels were optimized both in form and orientation. The building would develop in a symmetrical way and would dictate a planning approach for the apartments.
As developments in Abu Dhabi are aimed at maximum profit, designs are always required to exploit the full built-up potential of the land. In this case, an allowed cantilevered volume above the mezzanine floor adds a substantial number of extra square meters. It also creates a challenge in making sure that the building overall shape remains unified. This is achieved through a style in architectural sculpting unique to Cassia’s work. The building corners are highlighted with straight lines running uninterrupted from ground floor to the top ornamented end of the building. Covered in light color cladding, it then makes the building one whole entity and frames in a way those cantilevered volumes.
Exploring forms and volumes from this geometrical principal inspired the zoning of the building facades into three distinct subdivisions. The first two are for the 10 typical floors of 2-bedroom flats, and the last 5 levels are for the 4-bedroom apartments. The ground, mezzanine and typical apartment floors as well as the upper levels are conceived as distinct elements in the design. These elevation “zones” are unified through articulation of the building envelope to create a clear reading of the project’s functions.
Further use of color and materials adds another layer to the design and serves to construct a coherent and harmonious balance that creates a simple and elegant architectural language.