Named after the breathtaking Liwa oasis in Abu Dhabi the Liwa Tower is taking non-standard architecture to new heights. From every angle the Liwa tower has a different character. The elegant curves, the so called Powerlines, play with light and shadow, giving the tower a much more slender shape than the floor area ratio would ever suggest. A thousand mass customized windows provide light and a stunning view on the shores of Abu Dhabi to its residents. At night the window sills are lit using programmable LED's, creating a perfect fusion of architecture, structure and decoration.
The Liwa Tower is the corporate headquarters of the Al Nasser group. Located in the Capital Center district, adjacent the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center in the United Arab Emirates. The office tower is based on a G + 1 + 19 scheme with 3 levels of basement parking.
The design brief for the Liwa tower was very straight forward as master planning guidelines allowed for 21.604 m² GFA on plot C08. The primary challenge was to create a signature corporate headquarters, maximizing flexibility and floor plan efficiency while achieving the requested gross floor area. As the design constraints were strict ONL used a design strategy that allowed a continuous feedback between the architectural styling, programmatic requirements and building costs. This allowed us to quickly adapt the design of the Liwa Tower to changes in the program and vice versa.
ONL choose to develop a vase shaped tower, narrow at its base, gaining volume in the shaft and tapered towards the top. As the Liwa Tower is part of a city block it is surrounded on three sides with neighboring high rise towers. By creating a narrower top the Liwa Tower has more space to breath, allowing more open views from the higher buildings around. The feature lines of the Liwa Tower give the building its unique appearance. The vase has been styled by subtly slicing and chamfering the otherwise rectangular floor plan. Relatively modest modifications of the basic shape while retaining the structural integrity of the design create the iconic appearance of the Al Nasser Group Headquarters Tower.
The elegant curves that shape the Liwa Tower are a signature design characteristic of the architecture of ONL. The aesthetic freedom can only be realized using an integrated design strategy for skin and structure. In ONL's design philosophy architecture, construction and decoration are integrated in one consistent design attitude. Form not only follows function, form is function. The structural logic is expressed in the architecture, the decorative patterns of the facade are the detailed expression of the architectural tessellation of the surfaces. This integrated approach forms the basis for the fusion of cost-effectiveness and architectural eloquence.
Sustainability & Innovation:
By utilizing state-of-the-art technology the designers collaborated in an informed design process from the first (digital) sketches of the Liwa Tower. A parametric tool was created that allowed the designers to stylize the shape while maintaining the required amount of GFA. The results of this study of volume was directly translated to the more sophisticated design software used to further stylize the design.
The elegant curves of the Liwa Tower cause a continuous variation of the shape. The characteristic architectural expression is achieved by using components unique in size and shape. These components are manufactured using CNC (Computer Numerical Controlled) production facilities using the data directly derived from the computer models of the architect. This so called file2factory production technique uses existing mass production techniques to create series of unique elements on an industrial scale. There is no more need to fall back to labour intensive production methods. By using proven technology we are able to design striking architecture on time and within standard budgets.