Dubai (2003-2012) / Business Bay / Mode for Commercial Residential Building in Globalization Stage

The first building project in the Business Bay is the Executive Towers whose construction was started in 2005.[1] Consisted of twelve towers, in which 10 towers are commercial, one tower namely Aspect Tower is commercial and one tower are Hotel, the whole project is located off Dubai Creek and close to Sheikh Zayed Road and Dubai International Airport, which is considered as ‘a best location for successful global trading and enterprise’.[2] The project followed the key idea of the Business Bay which would like to be the ‘regional business capital as well as a freehold city’, as is mentioned in the last entry.[3] Executive Towers therefore played a significant role in the development of the Business Bay, even the urban planning of Dubai in the stage of globalization. Both of its design and construction process and the design of the project itself can be a mode of Dubai’s urban fabric growth under the power of capitalism and globalization in 21st century.

executive tower master plan / from Atkins Architecture, masterplanning and urban design p.41, http://www.atkinsglobal.com/~/media/Files/A/Atkins-Corporate/north-america/sectors-documents/buildings/library-docs/brochures/Atkins-buildings-minibook.pdf
executive tower master plan / from Atkins Architecture, masterplanning
and urban design p.41, http://www.atkinsglobal.com/~/media/Files/A/Atkins-Corporate/north-america/sectors-documents/buildings/library-docs/brochures/Atkins-buildings-minibook.pdf

The whole process of the design and construction of the project reflected much about how local and international firms collaborate together to realize an architecture and urban project in the globalization age. The developer of the project is Dubai Properties which represent the local capital and political power from the government, while other participants in this project are quite complex, including firms like MACE, DAR, WS Atkins, KCA, Verdaus and Cansult, which are from different parts of the world.[4] Among these firms, WS Atkins & Partners and DAR are the architects of Executive Towers.[5] WS Atkins & Partners is a big International architecture firm from the England[6]; DAR (Design and Architecture bureau) is an architecture and engineering firm in UAE.[7] The project was conducted by those multiple forces through globalization, achieving high efficiency during its design and construction, as is mentioned by Gulf News, “11 floors are being constructed each week” during its construction.[8]

Apart from the design and construction process, the design itself reflects much on new orientation of the form of urban fabric in the stage of globalization in Dubai, including the identity, site spirit and the role of economic factors. The project is defined as the modern International high rise which may result from its relatively neutral expression besides its height.[9] As height has already been one of the key features in Dubai’s urban fabric, Executive Towers also had other features which made it a mode for commercial residential building at globalization stage.  The whole development was defined as a mix-use project, with a three-storey podium contains varieties of programs at its bottom.[10] A community, or a micro city was formed in this relatively compacted way, while similar discussion about ‘cities within the city’ was also discussed in the paper The Effects of the New Development Projects on the Urban Macroform of Dubai.[11] Meanwhile, the whole project made use of the existing urban infrastructures and had a good connection with the waterfront and traffic system through its podium.[12] As a residential oriented project, Executive Towers defined itself as a small center within the larger center, Business Bay. This strategy made a fragmental urban fabric which connected with each other well through urban infrastructure and the Creek, and it may help different small business centers attract oversea investment in a greater level. As is declared by the developer, ‘The contemporary design and architectural theme of the towers reflects the modern image of Dubai. The Executive Towers, and the lifestyle they represent, are geared towards like-minded people that enjoy success and an intelligent way of living.’[13] It seems that the project is mostly driven by economy and provided luxury living for investors. The architect of the project Richard Hay from Atkins had much interest in ‘how contemporary architecture can respond to particular cultural, programmatic and environmental conditions’, but as a commercial project, Executive Towers may respond to the investment and capital more directly.[14] Nevertheless, this project may prove that it is the commerce and fairly new metropolis with huge containment that consist the new urban identity and site spirit of Dubai.

Dubai tower image / e-architect from Atkins, 19 Nov 2008, http://www.e-architect.co.uk/dubai/business-bay-executive-towers
Dubai tower image / e-architect from Atkins, 19 Nov 2008, http://www.e-architect.co.uk/dubai/business-bay-executive-towers

 

 

Endnotes

[1] “Executive Towers set to open next year,” Gulf News Property, May 27, 2006, accessed December 15, 2016, http://gulfnews.com/business/property/executive-towers-set-to-open-next-year-1.238575.

[2] “Executive Towers,” Business Bay Office, accessed December 15, 2016, http://businessbay-offices.com/dubai-offices/executive-towers.html.

[3] “About Business Bay,” Business Bay Office, accessed December 15, 2016, http://www.businessbay-offices.com/about-business-bay.html.

[4] “Executive Towers set to open next year”.

[5] “Companies Associated with Executive Towers,” Propsearch, accessed December 15, 2016, https://www.propsearch.ae/dubai/buildings/executive-towers.

[6] “Our History,” Atkins, accessed December 15, 2016, http://www.atkinsglobal.com/en-GB/about-the-group/our-history.

[7] “OVERVIEW AND HISTORY,” Design & Architecture Bureau, accessed December 15, 2016, http://www.dar.ae/?page_id=326.

[8] “Executive Towers set to open next year”.

[9] “Business Bay,” 2daydubai, accessed December 9, 2016, http://www.2daydubai.com/pages/dubai-business-bay.php.

[10] “About Executive Towers,” Propsearch, accessed December 15, 2016, https://www.propsearch.ae/dubai/buildings/executive-towers.

[11] Kubat, Ayse Sema, Yasemin Ince Guney, Ozlem Ozer, Mehmet Topcu, and Suveyda Bayraktar, “The Effects of the New Development Projects on the Urban Macroform of Dubai,” (KTH, 2009), 060:1-6.

[12] “Executive Towers,” Business Bay, accessed December 15, 2016, https://www.dubai-businessbay.com/Business-Bay-Project/Business-Bay/Executive-Towers-53.html.

[13] “Executive Towers set to open next year”.

[14] “Profile,” Hay Architect, accessed December 15, 2016, http://www.hayarchitecture.com/hay/.

 

 

Bibliography

2daydubai. “Business Bay.”accessed December 15, 2016. http://www.2daydubai.com/pages/dubai-business-bay.php.

Atkins. “Our History.” accessed December 15, 2016. http://www.atkinsglobal.com/en-GB/about-the-group/our-history.

Business Bay Office. “About Business Bay.” accessed December 15, 2016. http://www.businessbay-offices.com/about-business-bay.html.

Business Bay Office. “Executive Towers.” accessed December 15, 2016. http://businessbay-offices.com/dubai-offices/executive-towers.html.

Business Bay. “Executive Towers.” accessed December 15, 2016. https://www.dubai-businessbay.com/Business-Bay-Project/Business-Bay/Executive-Towers-53.html.

Design & Architecture Bureau. “OVERVIEW AND HISTORY.” accessed December 15, 2016. http://www.dar.ae/?page_id=326.

“Executive Towers set to open next year.” Gulf News Property. May 27, 2006. accessed December 15, 2016. http://gulfnews.com/business/property/executive-towers-set-to-open-next-year-1.238575.

Hay Architect. “Profile.” accessed December 15, 2016. http://www.hayarchitecture.com/hay/.

Kubat, Ayse Sema, Yasemin Ince Guney, Ozlem Ozer, Mehmet Topcu, and Suveyda Bayraktar, “The Effects of the New Development Projects on the Urban Macroform of Dubai,” (KTH, 2009), 060:1-6.

Propsearch. “Companies Associated with Executive Towers.” accessed December 15, 2016. https://www.propsearch.ae/dubai/buildings/executive-towers.

Propsearch. “About Executive Towers.” accessed December 15, 2016, https://www.propsearch.ae/dubai/buildings/executive-towers.

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