Michael Schumacher Tower

Bainunah St, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

"The project brings together our previous experiences, the Mercedes-Benz Museum, a brand-owned museum with an extraordinary spatial concept exploring the latest digital design and fabrication technologies with the Water cube Beijing, an example of the highest performance of both the building and the athletes, creating by a stunning atmosphere developed through the deliberate morphing of molecular science, architecture and phenomenology", says Chris Bosse.

Inspired by the geometrical order of a snowflake and the aerodynamics of a Formula 1 racing car, the tower encapsulates speed, fluid dynamics, future technology and natural patterns of organisation. Rather than purely mimicking shapes in nature for their elegance and unpredictability, the architects learned from nature's own geometrical orders creating highly efficient structures and intriguing spaces.

The organisational principle of a minimal surface allowed the optimisation of the facade/floor area ratio and each apartment in the 59 storey luxury tower has unobstructed ocean views.

The lower levels of the tower, traditionally the most difficult and least attractive area, has been reinterpreted as a series of prestigious wharf apartments, terraced similar to that of cruise ship decks. By widening the base, the tower is anchored into its surrounding water basin similar to the surrounding mangroves and nearby canals. The top Sky villas offer 270-degree views opposite the new cultural district on Saadyiat Island.

The building features an iconic silhouette and a facade characterised by vertical slots with private balconies. A series of reflective fins generates a vertical dynamic and gives the building a constantly changing appearance. The fins track the sun, control the solar shading and dissolve the rationality of the plan into a continuously evolving building volume. The facade's continuous surface enables curvature with a lot of repetition and the potential for standardisation in the building process. State-of-the-art engineering and innovative materials will be used to achieve a fully sustainable performance.

"The unique collaboration with Michael Schumacher gave us new insights. Technology, precision, speed, elegance, paired with human intuition and extraordinary performance were a great source of inspiration for the design. Similar to the formula one operation, construction is a team sport with a lot of highly skilled experts. In this sense the architects take the driver seat in the process, taking the project to the physical limits of possibility", adds Alexander Rieck.

The Tower Ground Breaking will be at the beginning of 2009, with a completion date around June 2011.

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