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Tower with a Twist

Project Architect (Van Aken)
Umm Al Quwain
Competition 2016


The Umm Al Quwain Twist tower was designed as the headquarters for an Emirates telecommunications company. The clients brief asked a striking architectural image to become their flagship office for the U.A.Q. Emirate.

The concept for the building form was simple. We took the clients logo as the tower footprint. We extruded it and then gave it a twist of 18deg. This resulted in a dynamic building form which changed depending on the viewing angle. On the east side towards the highway, the building towers up with a soft twisting curve whilst the west side towards the entrance of the building is angular and jagged.

The program was a mixture of call centers and corporate offices, meeting spaces, canteen and lecture halls and several technical floors for their telecommunications facilities.

A rational core was established throughout the tower with majority of the construction conforming to a vertical orientation, whilst the edges cantilevered beyond the central construction.

A quirky addition to the floor plans was the main call center floor which by coincidence took the shape of a speech bubble, adding to the theme of communication for the client.

From the main entrance the atrium rises the entire height of the façade allowing a fantastic view for user of the building on all floors.

The glass façade twists with the curves of the building. At night the led lighting accentuate the twist and give a dynamic and bold aesthetic to the region.

An identifiable feature of the architecture is the sphere on the roof. The Radom is the corporate identity of the client, which hosts large revolving satellites which are used as part of their communications platform for the region and beyond. The element is incorporated in the same glass panel style to act as a topping to the building

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