Architecture firm Goettsch Partners (GP) designed the flagship commercial development for Al Hilal Bank in the heart of Abu Dhabi’s Al Maryah Island, formerly known as Sowwah Island. The new office tower is located in the Emirate’s developing new central business district, with direct access to three main island roads and the nearby Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Sowwah Square, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange headquarters, and the Rosewood Abu Dhabi hotel.
The 24-story tower totals 87,570 square meters overall, including 49,110 square meters of office and retail space, and 1,000 parking spaces for tenants and visitors. The building will be serviced by a multi-tiered transportation infrastructure, which includes a planned light rail station.
The podium contains a retail banking facility as well as a dramatic three-story transparent lobby to the north, with pedestrian arcades on the east and west. Three cubical masses sit atop the podium, stacked like shifted blocks. Designed to set the building apart from other towers on Al Maryah Island while also providing optimally efficient, column-free spaces within, these forms derive their interest from a “push-and-pull” effect at the corners. In addition, the building’s façade changes at the created voids to accentuate the shifted aesthetic. The façade consists of an aluminum-and-glass curtain wall system with glass and notched metal-spandrel elements and vertical glass fins that enhance the building’s verticality while also providing shading.
A landscaped park and reflecting pool along the building’s western façade will draw traffic to the retail and main building entry by creating an inviting, shaded urban space. Café seating for tenants and visitors will further help activate the setting. Completion of the development is scheduled for the last quarter of 2013. +