Strata Tower by Asymptote



Construction has begun on Strata Tower by New York-based architects Asymptote in Abu Dhabi, UAE.


Due to be completed in 2011, the tower will have 40 storeys and be 160 metres high.


The following information is from Asymptote:


The Strata Tower, a forty-story, luxury residential building designed by architects Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture of Asymptote, has broken ground on Al Raha Beach and is now under construction. The tower is scheduled for completion in early 2011 and, at a height of 160 meters, will be the tallest building in the Al Dana precinct, the centerpiece of Aldar Properties PJSC’s prestigious Al Raha Beach development. The project and development will be showcased at Cityscape Abu Dhabi from May 13–15, 2008. The landmark Strata Tower is designed to signify a dignified and important future for Abu Dhabi and the region.


As a signature architectural statement, the Strata Tower’s articulate, striking physical presence seeks to encapsulate meaning through the use of abstract form drawn from both local cultural landscapes and motifs and dynamic forces of global influence. The Strata Tower’s design utilizes primarily mathematical means in its design to achieve both a poetic, as well as highly pertinent, architecture for the UAE, a region in flux with ambitions for continued rapid growth.


The Strata Tower’s innovative form was created using state-of-the-art, advanced parametric modeling tools and techniques from the onset of the design process to the production phase. The building’s design emerged from various influences and factors including economies of production and fabrication with special consideration given to environmental sustainability. Sophisticated computer modeling and tools were utilized to produce the building’s intelligent, environmentally responsive louver system that is held in a unique, cantilevered exoskeleton structure. The exoskeleton veils the entire tower in a shimmering curvilinear form set against Abu Dhabi’s surrounding desert and sea, embracing and reflecting the ever-changing light and atmospheres that enfold and contain it.


As architecture the Strata Tower resists being an overt, singular gesture reliant on a set meaning or association. Rather, the mathematical properties used, not unlike those in the manifestation of the arabesque or abstract calligraphy, give the building its supreme elegance, prominence and potential for meaning and significance.


Principal Architects: Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture
Structural and MEP Engineer: ARUP,
New York
Façade Consultant: Front Inc., New York
Building Information Modeling (BIM) Consultant: Gehry Technologies, Los Angeles & New York
Environmental Designers: Atelier Ten,
New York & London


About Asymptote Architecture

Asymptote Architecture was founded by principals Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture in 1989. Since Asymptote’s founding the New York-based firm has been at the forefront of technological innovation in the field of architecture and design and received international acclaim for visionary building designs and large-scale master plans. Asymptote is currently working on a broad range of commissions at sites in the United States, Europe, the United Arab Emirates and Asia including three landmark towers in Tbilisi, Georgia; commercial office towers in Budapest and Prague and the World Business Center Busan in Busan, South Korea, slated to be one of the tallest buildings in Asia upon its completion in 2011. In addition to the Strata Tower, projects designed by Asymptote now under construction include an innovative, high-end condominium building in New York City and a 500-room hotel in the United Arab Emirates.


Posted on Tuesday May 13th 2008 at 3:01 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Joaquin

    Lastly, y’all gotta admit one thing. Architecture has always been about expressing architect’s ego towards a context. Nothing too different from artists’ work. I sure think all architects understand.

    I still think projects like this are better than those commercial projects found everywhere. Most architects are just draftmen and salesmen, pleasing clients’ bad taste. GOTTA ACCEPT those who’s got gut like ASYMTOTE. They’ve been doing their things since who knows when.

  • wm

    This thing is hot. Good on you Asymptote

    Can’t believe some of these rediculous comments from retro modernist losers. Do not judge this work on your sentimental preconceptions.
    Souless?? What is soulful architecture? Mies box? Yeah right.
    Non-contextual? How is that? Do you know the architects intent, read the blurb? Or do you want it ‘look’ contextual? Like a mosque? Like a hut?

    Also, all you people who judge architecture negatively because it was preconcieved in a computer should just retire. Don’t push your insecurities onto the world. Its a tool. Learn it, just like you learnt how to speak, then to draw, then learnt autocad……
    To the critics, tough luck if you were born ugly and can’t get laid.
    Jealous ugly people are souless and boring.

    Zumthor, SANAA,etc=timeless, is that a joke? What is timeless? Everything dies and needs to die….sentamentalist especially.

  • Ant

    @ WM:

    My understanding was that this an architectural blog where people are meant to express their opinions about ‘architecture’. Your comments are verging on offensive to those who have bothered to cast their opinion. Anyway in answer your questions my ‘opinion’ is as follows:

    1. What is soulful architecture?
    Perhaps an architecture that responds to the inner essence of each living being, something with human qualities, something that alights ALL of the senses, not just one of them i.e. candy for the eyes!

    2. How is it not contextual?
    Lack of consideration to climate and environmental irresponsibility is a good reason. Anonymity and lack off reason other than fanciful form making is another, however, I am glad you understand that to be contextual does not mean to look like your neighbors.

    3. Zumthor=Timeless?
    The fact that you see the association as a joke says a lot.

    4. What is timeless?
    Timeless is the quality of being ageless, or transcending one moment in time, fashion, style, taste, or indeed shallow form making. Usually applies to works of substance…something soulful (see 1.)

    5. Everything dies and needs to die!
    No comment!!

  • BrendanC

    Another vertical airport.

  • Sikkafa

    Now that is sci-fi! Where do I get one of these? I want one…

  • bernd

    sorry, but this whole discussion is getting a bit kitsch.
    timeless, soulless, what’s going on?
    zumthor is a product of our time such as any other,
    the whole hype about him was born in the early 90s
    together with HdeM on the heritage of 60s concept art.
    one style, as any other. it’s very trendy and pure fashion
    as well.
    we are getting here in a socio-cultural thing about taste
    and sanaa/zumthor seem to have changed the conventions
    of our times and are accepted as such. all this is starting getting
    vulgar and is on the edge of retro-cocooning-kitsch and

    abu dhabi, genius loci, vain architecture? can you please open
    your eyes and look what’s going on down there? flower island
    archipelagos with david beckham bungalows – i think
    asymptote is very sensible in stuying this context. we are not in
    Vals but in the centre of arbitraryness in terms of architecture.

    and yes, can people please start using the computer as a tool
    with all its capacity and not as a pencil?

    i think it’s a beautiful building, playful with a nice collection of
    spaces and well thought and crafted architecture that uses
    all the means of designing something sustainable in our time.
    rather a prostitute with character than grim old desperate housewives.

  • michael

    your view of the world is dangerous and cretinous.
    the anger emanating from your post simply proves that you do
    not possess the means to articulate simple thoughts in a constructive debate.
    Luckily for you, everything is not dead yet, and the great thinkers, from Plato to Heidegger could still teach you a trick or two.

  • Raza

    I agree with michael, sorry wm!, you must breathe in fresh air more often.

    For those who are interested in knowing how to build timeless architecture, they must read “Timeless Way of Building” by Sir Christopher Alexander, and then avaluate his preachings from our own physical experiences. We’ll have to let a go bit, to really start living and observe what makes us alive. May be then we will have an understanding of what soul-lessness is all about.

    I have lived and worked in Dubai (U.A.E.) for 7 years. Sure it is a great playing field for architects, but at the same time an excellent opportunity to create responsible architecture that will let you live in harmony with yourself and the space that promotes it, rather than visually sexy and enticing forms that seem to be a product of some wire frame of an alien creature with fancy attire.

    Enough said guys and gals!

  • Sohair

    WOW!! THAT IS JUST AWESOME!! SOmething I can be proud of in Abu Dhabi, watchin Dubai frow made me wonder if tha Capital city would fine its touch! Great project!! Can’t ait to get my Architecture degree and work in Abu Dhabi!!!

  • Mohammad Sohair

    Wow.. I have been waiting to see this kind of building. Can’t wait to be involoved in this large ‘skyscraper’projects .. so conceptual and creative. Well I have lived in UAE (Abu Dhai) for over 20 years and so what excites me are these sophisticated, yet uniqe projects. It is good to think over the box. Most architects now tend to be following the ‘Post Modernism’ period.. “Deconstructivism”. Can’t wait to get my degree and wok for these kind of Projects!

  • d

    christopher alexander? you gotta be kidding me, is this forum full of new urbanists? Sure its a boring project, but its technically brilliant. Don’t really mind WM’s point. yall haven’t shown any decorum so why should WM? And Heidegger’s thinking on place can lead to very disturbing results. Watch Triumph of the Will and listen to the Nazi interior minister talking about environmentalism and community. Not calling environmentalists Nazis. Just saying that Heidegger comes with baggage, and so does most of this forum. Don’t know why I bothered to post that.


  • choadbag

    this makes me feel so futuristic :)

    but seriously, i am wondering how they’ll clean the windows.
    hopefully it’ll be as technically sophisticated as it’s claimed.
    i’m not sure what to make of all this middle east projects,
    i think the form of these buildings doesn’t interest me as much as
    whether there’ll be some cool bars/restaurants/activities inside the buildings
    actually, i think the crazier the better, if everywhere were as sober and high-minded as european towns, the world would be a pretty boring place!

  • McCoy

    Say what you want but i think it’s a beautiful piece of design…We need more buildings like this…

  • xxx27

    it is indeed a nice design, but it is seeking to be sustainable and it is not!. People a great maya orgy isn’t enough… The architect itself must show his commitment to a sustainable and a energy self sufficient environment. And this project, doesn’t prove or support any of this. It shows only beautiful energy killer…

  • moe makouk

    i would love to hear corbusier or mies commenting..those people who stepped into modern architecture, looking at all these buildings is just like checking a fashion magazine, i myself would be amazed, just like when i c a perfect body, its so good in pictures,,,what about reality?
    uae is investing so much money into contemporary architecture and m proud of those arabs, yet, i have a wierd unexplained feeling towards all this style of fluid, deconstructicist architecture that smells like zaha,

  • Smiller

    THIS PROJECT HAS BEEN CANCELLED / PUT ON HOLD due to lack of funds. I am working on the al raha beach project and know this for a fact. What a pity… it would have been a fantastic building that is gracefull yet understated.

  • Lia

    So amazing…

    cool… good on facade,, n interior..
    so high… wonderful scenary

  • dafdsf

    Looks complex but in fact too simple.

    Model a rounded star-like form for the mass, design one floor with slanted columns and repeat it 50+ times, use a twist deformer to bend the mass: viola! That’s all you need.

    Walk into one floor and you’ve experienced the entire building in white. Easiest and most thoughtless building.