One of the issues that architects have grappled with for years is how to make a building ever more slender. Skidmore Owings and Merrill think they may finally have found the solution to this age old problem in Dubai, the international capital of oversized buildings.
The tower which is named the Al Sharq Tower is certainly unique. Potentially located on Sheikh Zayad Road in Dubai the tower will stand at a height of 360 metres,102 floors and have 100,000 m2 of interior space.
It will be made up of nine slender tubes which form a spiralling, cellular, structure with an interesting filigree finish. Set to be the supermodel of skyscrapers, its seemingly impossible slenderness is a mere 40 metres in width.
Whilst this almost 1 to 10 slenderness ratio is less than Hong Kong's Highcliff when viewed from its side, Al Sharq is evenly slender to the same amount all round whereas the widest part of Highcliff has a lower ratio so is fatter. This means if built Al Sharq will become the thinnest skyscraper in the world.
The use of high strength steel cables between the concrete walls located around service areas and between residential units means that both the perimeter and the interior will have no need for columns, this will maximise views and will also allow flexibility in floor layout, buyers of the apartments will be given the unique opportunity to choose their own layout.
Greeting the residents and guests will be a 25 metre high lobby, the 90 floors of residences will start at 40 metres above ground to ensure all apartments will have panoramic views; the height of the apartments will range from 3.5 - 5 metres floor to ceiling.
Two zones full of amenities for residents are planned; one directly above the lobby will fill the void up to where the apartments start and the second will be located at penthouse level. Here the residents will be able to make full use of spas, health club, pools, a library and children's playrooms along with the all important day-care. Three dedicated service levels that will ensure smooth running of the facilities are also included in the design.
The tower will also boast a state of the art car park which will keep cars safe by stacking them individually and retrieval will be possible via a very sophisticated computer system, which sounds very much like someone was inspired by the film I-Robot.
If all goes well and plans are approved Dubai can look forward to yet another iconic skyscraper gracing its skyline leaving only the question being how many iconic structures can one skyline take?