Dubai’s Wasl Tower to be one of the world’s tallest ceramic facades

UNStudio, in collaboration with Werner Sobek, designed the new Dubai high-rise Wasl Tower, currently under construction with a ‘low tech’ ceramic facade. In consultation with the client Wasl Development Group, clay was chosen as a basic material, as such the facade fins will be manufactured as “low-tech, glazed ceramic elements,” said the architects. The geometry of the mixed use tower

achieved its “holistic” appearance by means of “parametric design and high-tech engineering,” said the architects. The avail- able sustainable measures required in the broader region have been “seamlessly implemented into the design”. The project is located in a central position in Dubai – along Sheikh Zayed Road, the main thoroughfare that connects the Emirates north to south – and faces the Burj Khalifa. When completed in 2020, the tower will be one of the world’s tallest ceramic facades. “Dubai’s reputation as a transfer hub is rapidly transforming into one of a long stay destination, especially during the cooler


Barrault Pressacco completes Parisian social housing units in stone

Parisian practice Barrault Pressacco has completed a social housing project in the French capital in “massive stone”. The project, said the architects, “articu- lates an environmental approach to design whilst echoing the Hausmannian building tradition that characterises the city. The use of this natural material equally contributes to the sense of wellbeing and comfort that permeates the project.” Stone is abundant in the vicinity of

Paris, so is “virtuous environmentally and highly contextual, drawing on local resources and engaging the regional economy,” said Barrault Pressacco. They commented on its sustainability:

“The energy necessary to extract, cut and lay stone is limited in comparison to other materials. It undergoes little transforma- tion and its intrinsic properties are conserved in the process.” The site is located in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, where local vernacular architecture coexists alongside Hausmannian renovations from the latter half of the 19th century.

The construction of the building is

hybrid, composed of different materials each assuming a particular mechanical or thermal role. All the facades are in massive stone supported by reinforced concrete porticos on the ground floor.

winter months,” said UNStudio. “The city also enjoys impressive infrastructure, connecting places, people and culture.” The design concept for the tower – a

slender 300 metre tall super-high-rise – “reflects the notion of these connections, adopting a classic ‘contrapposto’ movement. It faces in almost every direction and offers public areas high up in the building”. The building is, according to the archi-

tects, due to “take cultural sustainability, health, and innovation to the next level.” Ben van Berkel, founder and principal of UNStudio, said: “As the project strongly relates to and interconnects with Dubai’s urban experience, the aim is to make a visit to the Wasl Tower as attractive and contemporary as possible. As such, a dedicated concept of health, comfort and well-being throughout was developed for the building.” UNStudio’s design is closely interlinked with the engineering and sustainability concept developed by Werner Sobek. This close co-operation “defines scale, light, building physics and material specifica-

© Methanoia

tion”. In addition, smart access, communi- cation and security provide a “seamless technological base which is integrated with the architecture”. “Clean materials, interactive light levels, in addition to good acoustics” will be implemented in all spaces throughout the building. This is particularly the case on the public levels, where they will be combined with a “specific food experience, hosting and aesthetics, resulting in a seductive activation of the human senses”.




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