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SOM to Add a Twist to the Dubai Skyline


Courtesy Skidmore Owings and Merrill
   

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill has started construction on a 75-story helix-shaped tower in the Dubai Marina, one of the wealthy Emirate’s prime residential neighborhoods.

The “dancing” skyscraper, to be named Infinity Tower, will rotate 90 degrees as it rises while maintaining a constant floor-plate throughout its height. SOM Managing Partner George Efstathiou, AIA, predicts that the tower’s winding shape will make it the marina’s principal landmark, and perhaps a symbol of Dubai itself. According to Efstathiou, the building will offer its residents views of the waterfront without disrupting the vistas of neighboring buildings.

The 995-foot-high tower will comprise 456 residential units, ranging from studios to full-floor penthouses. It will include a street-level shopping arcade, conference centers, lounges, a child-care center, a health spa, exercise facilities, and an outdoor pool.

The structure will be constructed of cast-in-place high-strength concrete columns stepped one degree per floor in order to create the distinctive helix shape. The tower’s architect, design partner Ross Wimer, AIA, says that while the building’s form responds to its site, its articulated surface responds to the climate, making its architecture a derivative of the “interaction of natural forces.”

SOM is also currently in the process of constructing Burj Dubai, a residential tower that is set to be the world’s tallest building. Both projects are scheduled to be completed by 2009.

By Seif El-Rashidi

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