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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Michael Schumacher World Champion Tower, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Michael Schumacher World Champion Tower unveiled at Cityscape Dubai by new kids on the block, LAVA
The Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA), as a firm, is one of the freshest faced out there being set up just one year ago. However, probing into the individual experiences of the three co-partners you discover that together they are stronger. Beijing’s Watercube and the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Germany are amongst their combined resume as well as boasting the talents of the innovation expert of the Fraunhofer institute in Stuttgart.

Just one year after setting up the company Chris Bosse, Tobias Wallisser and Alexander Rieck have unveiled a unique tower design inspired by Formula 1 technology. Working in collaboration with legendary Formula 1 racer and namesake of the tower, Michael Schumacher, LAVA have designed a vertically undulating design which is set to break ground early 2009.

“The unique collaboration with Michael Schumacher gave us new insights. Technology, precision, speed, elegance, paired with human intuition and extraordinary performance were a great source of inspiration for the design. Similar to the formula one operation, construction is a team sport with a lot of highly skilled experts. In this sense the architects take the driver seat in the process, taking the project to the physical limits of possibility”, says Alexander Rieck

Inspired by the geometrical order of a snowflake and the aerodynamics of a Formula 1 racing car, the tower encapsulates speed, fluid dynamics, future technology and natural patterns of organisation to learn from rather than mimick these elements for beauty.

The lower levels of the tower, have been reinterpreted as a series of wharf apartments, terraced similar to that of cruise ship decks. By widening the base, the tower is anchored into its surrounding water basin similar to the surrounding mangroves and nearby canals. The top Sky villas offer 270- degree views opposite the new cultural district on Saadyiat Island.

The building features an iconic silhouette and a facade characterised by vertical slots with private balconies. A series of reflective fins generates a vertical dynamic and gives the building a constantly changing appearance. The fins track the sun, control the solar shading and dissolve the rationality of the plan into a continuously evolving building volume. The facade’s continuous surface enables curvature with a lot of repetition and the potential for standardisation in the building process. State-of-the-art engineering and innovative materials will be used to aim at achieving a fully sustainable performance.

Developed for clients Vedera Capital|Marasi, completion is expected around June 2011.

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