United Arab Emirates Location

Marina, Dubai


Enrico Mari Grego with Zaha Hadid Architects



Project Description

Total Built up Area – 90,000 sq.m.

Marsa Marina Residential Tower is one of two buildings (the Marina Terrace Grosvenor Tower opposite) on each side of the creek and the bridge crossing to the Jumeirah Beach Marina from the mainland, that can be perceived as holding ‘sentinel’ or gate house- like positions in relation to the general master plan and the growing number of buildings around the Marina. From it’s prominent corner position at the eastern end of the Marina, residents of the proposed Marsa Tower will enjoy unparalleled diagonal views both outwards, north- east, to the gulf and inwards, south- west, towards the Marina. A prescribed ‘Dubai’ residential tower typology - given site andbuilding area constraints – has dictated the shape and form of the proposal and precluded any consideration or promotion of other architectural models.

The shape of the, otherwise closed square, tower plan is open on one side at ground level and closed at the top, whilst on the opposite side, the inverse applies. As the two halves of the nearly- square plan open on one side so the opposite side remains closed. The architectural effect created by this kinetic, this opening and closing movement in plan, signals in elevation, that the main pedestrian entrance is in the splayed foot, or cleft, of the tower at the raised ground, pointing south towards the Marina. The see- saw splitting and movement of the floor plates in a scissor- like action is a leit- motif throughout the height of the proposal. On the gulf side, the building splits open towards the top affording penthouse residents wide views to the Gulf.

A second architectural motif – of the three dimensional image and silhouette of the tower – derives from a structural concept. The design development has been enhanced and clarified by a vertical two- tube structural concept.

Two concrete tubes, one inside the other, provide for the circulation and building services core (inner) and the (outer) facade throughout the height of the project, from basement levels to crown. The outer tube can be punctuated by up to 40%, provided there is a gradation in the number and type of opening from few and small at the base to more and larger at the top. Thus an upwards gradation - a whoosh - of the window pattern; designs that are drawn from studies of a traditional decorative faceted Islamic geometry; thus becomes the second three dimensional motif in the development of the architectural scheme of the Marsa Tower. The tower has 72 floors.