Abu Dhabi World Trade Center by Foster + Partners


Architects Foster + Partners have launched their design for Abu Dhabi World Trade Center, part of the Al Raha Beach development in Abu Dhabi.

The design was unveiled today at the MIPIM property fair in Cannes. Images: Foster + Partners.

Here's some info from Foster + Partners:

11 March 2008

Foster + Partners unveils scheme for Al Raha Beach at MIPIM

Foster + Partners reveals designs for Abu Dhabi World Trade Center, the principal building at Al Raha Beach. The design strategy is a highly specific response to the climate and topography of this dramatic coastal site and the building has evolved through a process of sophisticated environmental computer analysis. The resulting scheme provides shade while also admitting light; is cooled by a natural flow of air but is buffered against the strong desert wind; is asymmetrical and sculptural yet is environmentally and functionally coherent.

The site is in the precinct of Al Dana, forming the signature element of a new waterfront city east of Abu Dhabi. Located at the eastern end of the vast semi-circular marina of Al Raha Beach, the building extends into the centre of the marina to create a peninsula that completes the lively waterside promenade.

The Abu Dhabi World Trade Center is a multi-use building that brings together offices, apartments, a hotel and shops to encourage a constant pattern of economic and social activity throughout the day.

Wrapped in a shimmering skin, the building’s sinuous form rises up to a tower at its eastern tip. This distinctive envelope is a reactive louvered shading system that is angled to minimize solar gain depending on orientation. The main entrance to the south connects to a soaring central atrium, which is buffered from the climatic extremes by the apartments and offices that line the perimeter.

The form of the building is rooted in a sustainable environmental strategy that relies on a series of passive controls. To the south, the building is indented to reduce the external area most vulnerable to direct sunlight. The services and circulation cores occupy most of the remaining exposed areas. At ground level, the overhang of the roof creates a shaded walkway that wraps around the building, and the roof is streamlined according to the prevailing winds to encourage cooling air currents around and through the building.

The project is due to start on site this summer.

Posted on Tuesday March 11th 2008 at 9:40 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • roadkill

    refreshing form and quite simple solution to deal with environmental control!

  • Arch

    did they use Vue 6 software?

  • tommi

    rarely see a low-rise “World Trade Center”

  • Nick


  • ric

    we don’t care about the software!
    we care about carpet tiles

  • joachim rodriguez diaz la foza


  • The building is unique for F+P.

    It does come with some ground breaking feature and new concepts especially for Norman Fosters practide.

    Definitely worth spending some time understanding it!

    What`s even better is- it will get build and will be a massive challenge for everyone involved in it.

  • Roy

    Interesting. One of the pictures remind of the souk I saw as a kid in Jidda. A souk is a covered marketplace. It was a vast shady space.

  • Noviardi

    Great, Foster+Partners makes a ‘world trade center’ looks very interesting than ever..

  • ok, nice. but correct me if i am wrong, is it ok for women to walk “exposed in that manner” around abu dhabi ? i mean she dosnt even have a head scarf… i thought that this was a great issue there. then again, I still have to travel to abu dhabi this year or next.

    John Buck company just got a big kick from their top investors (25% stake) that may be a reason for a new coming…. like i said correct me if i am wrong!


  • floyd landis

    I think I see the Spacely Sprockets World Headquarters in the background.

  • I_Cn

    Double Yawn

    Sustainable features is not exactly refreshing. Formally, it is equally dissapointing. it looks like what Zaha could have done 5 years ago.

  • doobiedoo

    is that sunlight or icarus?

  • atrocious

    by iranian money!!!!!

  • Mekaratta

    Have F+P got the new designers from Zaha Hadid Architects?

  • ali

    I love you

  • once again they have looked very good at (or were inspired by) the architectural designs by Future Systems


  • joe

    tired oopma loompa vs. venetian blinds

    plz plz plz plz plz don’t build this

  • Thomas

    what goes into the building really matters!!! eg; carpet tiles

  • Austin

    Its ok nothing compared to the new freedom tower they are building at the New york world trade center site..

    Plus aren’t the woman suppose to be vieled??

    Abu Dhabi is trying to make it look like they are a advance society but at the same time they are attempting to hide the truth.

  • allforms

    women are not required to be veiled or wrapped like Saudi’s. UAE is open but there are limitations on public actions in respect to the traditions and local laws. bikini’s are even allowed but at the appropriate locations such as resorts or beaches. no physical contact like kissing unless they’re your (proven) family. allowed to drink booze as long as you have the liquor license and no hotel room sharing for non-couples or you’ll face jail time. totally no drugs too. but you can wear anything comfortable as long as you don’t really provoke anyone.

  • dalie

    when is it gonna open???

  • k01

    Looks like a fake Zaha building.