The Wasl Tower is a benchmark 302 metre super-high-rise structure in a pivotal Dubai location. Set for completion in 2020, the Wasl Tower will have one of the world’s tallest ceramic facades and will be a regional touchstone for adaptability and sustainability.
Its capacity to acclimatise to local temperatures through shading and cooling techniques sets this building apart within the hot desert climate. Its design aesthetic and 'contrapposto' structure revolves around ‘Figures in Motion’ and references the interconnectivity of Dubai’s complex and thorough infrastructure. This adaptable, multipurpose addition to Dubai’s skyline reflects mobility, establishes sustainability and provides opportunity. 

Tactical Location 
The location of this standout tower is strategic, in an exceptionally central position, framed by Dubai’s famous Burj Khalifa and the new City Walk Development. The tower acts as the point of convergence between these two key Dubai locations, attracting people from every side. Within Dubai’s impressive infrastructure, the tower is located along Sheikh Zayed Road, which connects the Emirates North to South. When approaching Downtown Dubai from the International Airport, the Wasl Tower mirrors the Burj Khalifa on the other side of the ‘SZR’, where there are as yet no other high-rise buildings. To connect the two areas, a pedestrian bridge connects the Wasl Tower to Burj Khalifa metro station. Reflecting the diversity of Dubai’s metropolitan activity, the building is programmed for mixed-use, with central public areas located high up in the building. 

Ceramic Facade 
The Wasl Tower has one of the world’s tallest ceramic facades, cloaked with gentle ceramic features. Clay was chosen as a fundamental material for this facade, while additional fins are also manufactured from ceramic materials. This fine lace of fins over the basic skin literally veils the geometry. These fins only shade the facade, but also reflect daylight deep into the tower’s interior. The direction of the fins (12.8 degrees), as well as the dimensions and materialisation, have all been developed using the parametric data from the design model. This holistic facade is decorated with autonomously generated light patterns that breaths with the rhythm of the city. 

Vertical Boulevard 
The scale, lighting, design and engineering of the inner and the outdoor spaces took inspiration from the sustainable protocol, “Good for the People, Good for the Environment”. Smart communication, security and access strategies provide a seamless technological foundation on which this sustainable pledge was integrated in the building. The open seam that runs the full height of the tower forms a ‘vertical boulevard’ which is topped by infinity pools on the tower roof. This seam is created by a stacking of outdoor balconies, forming a green vein along the building’s silhouette, and allowing a glimpse of the interior. This boulevard connects the outdoor with the indoor, which is a unique feature for this region. Clean materials, interactive light levels, and deliberated acoustics are implemented in all spaces throughout the building, with a particular focus on public levels, where culinary experience, hosting and aesthetics come together to heighten visitor experience. 

Photo credits: UNStudio
Categories: MIXED USE
Engineering: WERNER SOBEK
Designer: UNSTUDIO
Beginning of Construction: 2014
Completion Date: 2019
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