In October last year Woods Bagot beat a throng of international entries, in a competition to design the Axis Tower which would be built at the centre of the United Arab Emirates capital.
Developer Sino Gulf Investments was so pleased with the Melbourne architect’s proposal, it bought an adjoining development site and plans now to build a second tower, mirroring the original.
Combined the towers will add more than 100,000 square metres of office and retail space and six levels of car parking and have an end value of around $300 million.
Project design leader Andres Lopez said one of the biggest design challenges was the harsh environmental conditions of Abu Dhabi, which include temperatures of up to 50 degrees in summer, a high level of dust and sand in the atmosphere, and. extremely high humidity. He said these factors mean the building services must perform constantly at a very high level.
Abu Dhabi is about an hour drive from Dubai, which is itself undergoing a development explosion.