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The Gate, Abu Dhabi by Arquitectonica

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All images and information courtesy of Arquitectonica. Copyright by desMena.

The gate is a residential development designed by Arquitectonica for Abu Dhabi’s new district emerging on Reem Island just next to the current city centre.

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Design Intent

The site constitutes the visual gateway to a new city. Two access boulevards cross it linking the city to an island enclave of residences shops offices and hotels. The urban significance of the site requires a corresponding architectural response.

A monumental portico is created by four residential towers linked by a suspended transom. The towers are gently tapered creating a sculptured profile against the sky. They create a series of tapered arches that frame the skies beyond. The towers are textured by projecting balconies in a staggered pattern reminiscent of a shimmering sea. The glass balustrades will add an additional dimension to this effect as reflection and transparency merge to create a painterly effect. The balconies also convey the residential content of the piers and add shadows and depth to their surface. A center core provides structural rigidity. The core is split into two passenger elevator zones with independent lobbies leading to units. This mechanism reduces distance of travel to the unit and conveys exclusivity and intimacy.

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A common service core services both zones for efficiency. The transom contains the amenities for the residents. It contains a fitness center/ spa, rooftop pool, business center, movie screening room, cyber library/billiard room, restaurant and party room. These functions are shared by the towers and linked by a series of bridges that ring that three oculi. These elliptical voids are placed between the towers like giant skylights casting a sculpted shadow and light effect on the structures below.

Standing proud of the portico is an elliptical point tower. It houses offices, and apartments vertically stacked around a center core. Elliptical shape reduces wind resistance and its perimeter columns provide a tube structure effect. Within the elliptical form the spaces are organized orthogonally. Certain rooms cantilever beyond the elliptical skin. From the exterior they form a series of vertical bands that emphasize the vertical thrust of the tower. From within they create a series of spaces that project into space. Giant bay windows become rooms in the sky.

Conference rooms, living rooms, executive offices with the ultimate three-sided corner condition.

The towers emerge from a podium. The podium contains a retail ground floor that lines the broad boulevard sidewalks.

Parking garages above grade add dimension to the podium. They are clad in a mesh to be lit from behind at night projecting a glow above the lively retail shop-fronts and their signage. Additional parking is provided in the basement.

The podium roof becomes an expansive green space. This elevated park spans all three blocks and is connected by bridges. There are five elliptical swimming pools each clad in different color mosaics: blue, gold, emerald green, black and white. They will light up like crystalline jewels at night. The lighting scheme of the pools is complemented by that of the buildings. The residences will glow from within but the transom will light up like a golden beam suspended in midair and moving horizontally towards the water. The vertical bands in the tower will also light up and in contrast emphasizing vertical movement.

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Project Description

An eight tower complex which marks the visual gateway to the southern entrance of a large residential mixed-use development. The complex includes five 62-story and two 31-story residential towers and one 83-story mixed residential/commercial-use tower with a total of over 4,600 residential units with requisite underground parking, gardens and event terraces. This plot represents a total of more than 1 million sq m of development space.

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Technical, environmental or social advancements

The elliptical shape of T1 & T2 reduces wind resistance and its perimeter columns provide a tube structure effect. Within the elliptical form the spaces are organized orthogonally. Certain rooms cantilever beyond the elliptical skin and from within they create a series of spaces that project into space. Giant bay windows become rooms in the sky. Conference rooms, living rooms, executive offices with the ultimate three-sided corner condition. The center core arrangement and elliptical plan provides a unique office floor plate with an excellent ratio of window to usable space. The expansive views and unique floor plate define a prestige office.

T7-T8 are curvilinear buildings organized into multiple cores. This arrangement allows for the introduction of a series of multi-story windows. These openings allow air flow and serve as airborne common areas for the residents, with expansive views beyond.

Parking podium with retail facing both outward, to enliven the street, and inward providing essentials for residents and workers. Parking garages are clad in a mesh to be lit from behind at night projecting a glow above the lively retail shop-fronts and their signage. The podium roof becomes and elevated park spanning all three blocks and connected by bridges.

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Project Details

Total Area — Square feet / square meters:
Residential 11,050,800 SF / 920,900 SM
Retail: 178,600 SF / 16,600 SM
Office: 1,272,000 SF / 106,000 SM
Total: 12,501,400 SF /1,043,500 SM

Number of stories/ Height — feet / meters:
Tower 1,Office/Residential 83-story 2,120,490 SF / 197,000 SM
Tower 2, Residential, 62-story 1,174,000 SF / 109,000 SM
Tower 3 Residential, 62-story 1,204,000 SF / 111,800 SM
Tower 4 Residential, 62-story 1,174,000 SF / 109,000 SM
Tower 5 Residential, 62-story 1,204,000 SF / 111,800 SM
Tower 6 Residential, 62-story 1,174,000 SF / 109,000 SM
Tower 7 Residential, 31-story 1,571,800 SF / 146,000 SM
Tower 8 Residential, 31-story 1,434,600 SF / 133,300 SM

The Gate

Reem Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Client/Owner
Sorouh Real Estate Development
PO Box 93666
Abu Dhabi, UAE

Design Architect
Arquitectonica
801 Brickell Avenue Suite 1100
Miami, Florida 33131

Partners-in-Charge of Design
Bernardo Fort Brescia, FAIA
Laurinda Spear, FAIA

Project Director
Peter Brannan

Project Manager
Matthew McCallum

Architect of Record/Technology Design Firm
National Engineering Bureau
PO Box 26644
Dubai, UAE

Associate Architects/Program Manager/Prime Consultant
R W Armstrong / A2SO4
Union Station
South Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46225-1193

Interior Designer
Arquitectonica Studio

ENGINEERS
Structural
Hyder Consulting

MEP
Ian Banham and Associates

Civil
R W Armstrong

CONSULTANTS

Acoustical
Ove Arup

Audio/Visual
Ove Arup
Cost Estimating
Davis Langdon Arabian Gulf

Elevator
Lerch and Bates

Environmental Consultant
Architectural Energy Corporation

Fa├žade Engineer
Hyder Consulting

IT
BDG

Landscape
Arquitectonica GEO

Lighting
L’Observatoire

Life Safety Engineering
Ove Arup
LockeCarey

Traffic
MVA

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