Best Tall Building under 100 meters Award of Excellence: The Opus, Dubai

Peter Stephenson
Executive Director - Development
Omniyat Middle East Real Estate Developments LLC, Dubai

Christos Passas
Design Director
Zaha Hadid Architects, London

A Carved-Out Cube Cools Solar Gains

Located on an important site between Downtown Dubai and Dubai Water Canal, it was critical that the design of the Opus maintain the contextual flow and connectivity of the site, thus, the Opus is designed as two separate towers that coalesce into a singular whole – taking the form of a cube. The cube is then “carved,” creating a central void that is an important volume in its own right, which provides views to the exterior from the very heart of the building. The free-formed fluidity of this eight-story void contrasts with the orthogonal geometry of the surrounding cube. The two towers are linked by a four-story atrium at ground level, and by a bridge connecting 71 meters above the ground. This three-story, asymmetric bridge is 38 meters wide and weighs 1,000 metric tons.

A reflective fritting patterning of pixelated striations applied to the Opus’ glass façade provides a degree of reflectivity and materiality to the cube and reduces solar gain. The lighting of the Opus conveys the contrasts within the design. During the day, the cube appears solid – its central void a transparent space. At night, the cube appears dematerialized, while the free-formed void is activated with an LED light installation.

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