Tall Emblem Structure at Za’abeel Park

The Dubai Municipality, Department of Planning, Planning Studies Section issued a competition for a 170m high structure to:

‘promote the new face of Dubai...to promote tourism and other recreational, scientific and cultural activities...the architectural endeavour will create spaces suitable for these aims under optimum ambient and functional conditions...it should have a unique state of the art design suited to Dubai’s socio-cultural reality and urban contexts”.

Working with Assael Architecture we developed a submission for what was termed a ‘Vertanical’ - a dramatic vertical botanic garden. The structure was to comprise a series of stacked, interlocking floor plates providing an uninterrupted journey from top to bottom/bottom top through different internal climatic zones. The floor plates leaned back away from an adjacent pre-existing lake, with large overhangs creating shade. The floor plates twisted in orientation as the height increases to address the wider context beyond the site.

The interior planting was designed as a display of the key habitats of Dubai, showcasing some of the 800 plus species of native plant that occur in the wild there.

On the outside of the building a series of both irrigated and xeric gardens was devised, aimed to attract native and migrant birds. External habitats near the tower were to demonstrate desert permaculture and sustainable oases and to attract native and migrant avifauna.

The submission was awarded a commendation by the Dubai Government.

Proximate Client
Assael Architects

Design Team Leader
Assael Architects

Assael Architects

Middle East & Africa

Site Area
Less than 10 hectares