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SOM completes twisted skyscraper in Dubai

News: Burj Khalifa architect Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) has added another skyscraper to the Dubai skyline with the completion of the twisted Cayan Tower.

The 307-metre skyscraper, previously known as the Infinity Tower, contains 495 apartments within a towering helical form that rotates 90 degrees from base to peak. "The lower portion of the tower is oriented toward the exciting waterfront promenade of Dubai Marina, while the upper floors are rotated to face the Gulf," explains SOM's design director Ross Wimer.

The twisted profile aims to reduce powerful wind forces on the tower by dispersing them around the exterior, while the perforated metal skin is designed to screen the interior from harsh desert sunlight.

This is the third skyscraper completed by SOM in the emirate city, following the 828-metre Burj Khalifa and the 235-metre Rolex Tower.

"Cayan Tower adds to SOM's significant impact on Dubai's twenty-first century skyline," comments SOM partner George Efstathiou. "It takes its place with our finest designs, including the nearby Rolex Tower and Burj Khalifa."

SOM is one of the largest architecture firms in the world. Recent projects include a vision for the future of New York's Pennsylvania Station and plans for Singapore's tallest tower.

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Photograph © Tim Griffith/SOM.

Here's a press release from SOM:

SOM's Cayan (formerly Infinity) Tower opens

The Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)-designed Cayan (formerly Infinity) Tower in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, was inaugurated by its developer, Saudi Arabia-based Cayan Investment & Development, earlier this week. The dramatically rising helix of the 75-storey building provides a distinctive landmark on the city's skyline. The 1,010-feet (307-metres) tall reinforced concrete structure rotates a hexagonal floor plate around a circular core - with the top offset 90 degrees from the base. The shift maximises views for each of the 495 apartments.

Deep concrete exterior columns clad in a metal skin with perforated screens help shield the building's interior from the intense desert sun. The tower's innovative shape required equally innovative engineering. The corner and interior columns twist as they ascend, but most of the perimeter columns have an identical shape and tilted relationship to the floor plate. They are simply shifted, a bit more than a single degree, from floor to floor - resulting in a standardised construction method typical to most concrete structures. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems are located in the core or within a zone between the central circulation corridor and the residential units, allowing straight vertical paths for these systems as the relationship between the apartments served varies between floors. The shape of the tower is not only aesthetically unique but it serves a structural function as well. Its twisted shape greatly reduces wind forces on the tower and "confuses the wind" in a way that wind forces cannot organise themselves.

Cayan Group President and Chairman Ahmed M Al Hatti notes Cayan Tower is the highest twisted tower in the entire world.