The next amazing building in our Building Blocks series is a skyscraper but not as we know it. The headquarters of Aldar, a property and investment company in Abu Dhabi, are housed in a round, coin shaped circle of glass.
This iconic structure is completely circular and fully glazed, standing 124m tall. It took 3 years to build from 2007-2010 and was designed by architects MZ and Partners. It boasts 23 floors and 3 basement levels and is located in a unique position surrounded by the sea, desert and a canal.
The design was inspired by the shape of a clam shell with the two giant circular curved walls of glass bringing to mind an open shell. The original design required a total of 10,000 different pieces of glass for the façade but as this proved to be impractical; it was refined with panels in the diamond-shaped steel ‘diagrid’ of a similar size enabling the striking shape of the building. The hemispherical facades comprising two circular shaped convex shapes are joined by a narrow strip of corrugated glass.
This stunning circular building stands at an elevation from west to east, allowing both the sunset and sunrise to be reflected in its shiny surface.
The building has received several awards and recognitions, including one for the “Best Futuristic Design” by The Building Exchange.
You might like to take a look at this Time Lapse video of the construction of the building.