(1989) Said Tower

client : HH Sheikh Said Bin Mohamed Al Nahyan
typology : Mixed-Use
services : Architecture
where : Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Retrospective 1981-1990 video: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CPxSImAji4m/

This residential tower is located on the intersection of the Airport road and the Abu Dhabi coastal promenade. The main request was to insure that every apartment enjoys a panoramic view of the sea. The architect in this case provided a solution to this request and took the matter one step further. Instead of a simple and plain outlook towards the sea, he rotated the building plan in a way that all apartments will be facing the sea view through the long stretch of the corniche. This added a perspective, a depth and a lively movement to the panorama.

The building has 20 stories of residential apartments. The top 2 are duplex residences. The ground floor is for shops and commercial outlets and the mezzanine is used as office space. The entrance is marked with a clean-cut half cylinder portico covering the stairs and part of the footpath.

Designed with a restrained palette of materials, the massing and details seek to articulate the calm and residential character of the project and makes reference in its uppermost corner to the seafaring tradition of the Gulf. The high elevation of the building is emphasized not only by the stretch of straight vertical lines from ground level to the top, but also by the continuation of those lines into the arches that crown the building. One slick movement makes the whole tower a complete entity that doesn’t seem to be missing any parts or extensions.