Inspired by the formation of a desert oasis, and with an intricate pattern found in natural systems, the ‘Symbiotic Towers’ project in Dubai seeks to create an area for businesses and holidaymakers alike, as well as residential property and public spaces all within a synthesis of ‘skin’.
The project consists of residential dwellings, a hotel, and an office tower, connected on the ground level by a double-deck pedestrian shopping plaza. The connecting plaza creates two environments that can be used throughout the different seasons.
The first environment, the lower deck, is a lavish green semi-shaded oasis level that is packed with trees and water to provide gathering zones for people during the hot summer season. It is located on the natural landscape level to be accessible for pedestrians from all sides.
The second environment is a stretched voronoi perforated deck that ramps up from both ends of the site to form an elevated upper plaza that is simultaneously connected with the lower level oasis via many ramps.
This plaza is partially shaded by trees extending through the voronoi openings. Also, photovoltaic umbrellas have been placed on tree-like structure in some of these openings. They collect the sun energy and convert it into power to feed the cross-ventilation system of the oasis level. This treatment, along with the shading provided by the upper deck level and the dense plantation, create a micro-climatic habitable environment that can be used during the hottest seasons in Dubai.
The Towers' geometry and skins were developed in response to Dubai climatic conditions. Radiation data of the hottest seasons in Dubai (May-October) were mapped on the geometry and used to shape the form and orientation of each tower.
The Towers geometry taper and twist so to reduce the surface area that is exposed to high radiation. These data were also re-mapped to generate gradient balconies depth and skin openings to minimize sun exposure and to provide a comfortable shaded environment inside.
Internally, the lobby space of these towers soars up; creating a transparent atrium void that unites the floors, while allowing pattern of sunlight inside. This treatment creates a dramatic effect as it blends the shadow of the pattern of the external skin with the interior pattern of the lobby and the rooms inside.
Incorporating contextual environmental data to inform forms, plaza, and skin generation was a key aspect of this development. This design approach aims to reduce the reliance on the prevailing air-conditioning system, while creating a symbiosis between the architecture and the natural environment of Dubai.
This project designed by AmorphouStudio is part of what formed the master plan of Jumeirah Garden City in Dubai – dubbed the ‘Manhattan of Dubai’ it was to be a near 100 million sq ft area of re-development at a cost $100 billion that was put on hold when the financial crisis of ’07/’08 hit.
Even with the development on hold there is still a proposal to build the Symbiotic Towers project. Also, the essence of the design can easily be recreated in future places though.
For further information please visit AmorphouStudio’s website here.