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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

SOWWAH SQUARE in Al Maryah Island, UAE by Goettsch Partners

July 23rd, 2013 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Goettsch Partners

The five-building Sowwah Square complex in Abu Dhabi has won the 2013 Best Tall Building Award for the Middle East & Africa region, as conferred by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). The project now competes as one of four regional winners for the 2013 Best Tall Building Worldwide, to be awarded in November. Designed by architecture firm Goettsch Partners (GP) and developed by Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure, Sowwah Square is located on Al Maryah Island and defines the new downtown anchor for Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, the emirate’s long-term urban framework plan.

Image Courtesy © Lester Ali, Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure

  • Architects: Goettsch Partners
  • Project: SOWWAH SQUARE
  • Location: Al Maryah Island, UAE
  • Photography: Lester Ali and Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure
  • Software used: Autocad

Image Courtesy © Lester Ali, Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure

Comprising four office towers and the headquarters building for the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, the complex strives to create a signature image for downtown while also promoting a public presence and emphasizing sustainability. The initial building program heights were relatively modest and their combined footprint occupied a majority of the site. In order to provide a more distinguished skyline profile and relieve the streetscape, the buildings were raised 27 meters. The resulting design frames slender pairs of 31- and 37-story towers around a stock exchange building that sits on distinctive piers. At plaza level, the buildings sparingly touch the site, and indoor and outdoor spaces seamlessly blend to create a large, landscaped, pedestrian-friendly environment.

Image Courtesy © Lester Ali, Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure

In addition, the complex integrates a two-level, 33,000-square-meter high-end shopping center and structured parking for 5,000 cars. The project emphasized a sustainable design approach throughout. Select initiatives include ventilated, double-skin facades; active and passive solar shading; and active lighting controls that balance natural and artificial light. As a result, the complex became the first in Abu Dhabi to be pre-certified LEED-CS Gold. We are very pleased to see Sowwah Square recognized at such a high international level,” said James Goettsch, FAIA, chairman and CEO of GP. “The CTBUH has done a great job to recognize a wide range of achievements in tall buildings that can provide lessons worldwide.

Image Courtesy © Lester Ali, Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure

We are humbled to have one of our projects associated with this distinguished group.” The CTBUH Best Tall Building Awards are an independent review of new projects, judged by a panel of industry executives. Projects are recognized for making an extraordinary contribution to the advancement of tall buildings and the urban environment, and for achieving sustainability at the broadest level. Regional winners are selected in four categories: Americas, Asia & Australasia, Europe, and Middle East & Africa. An overall winner for the 2013 Best Tall Building Worldwide will be named at the CTBUH 12th Annual Awards Ceremony and Dinner, held at the Illinois Institute of Technology, November 7, in the iconic Crown Hall, designed by famed architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

Image Courtesy © Lester Ali, Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure

Goettsch Partners (GP) is an innovative architecture firm with a global perspective, emphasizing a singular design approach across offices in Chicago, Shanghai and Abu Dhabi. Focused on combining exceptional design, technical expertise and unmatched service, the firm creates measurable value and environmentally responsible solutions. Services include architecture, interiors, planning and building enclosure design. Diverse projects around the world share a consistent emphasis on bringing bold design clarity to complex challenges. Visit for more information.

Image Courtesy © Lester Ali, Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure

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Categories: Autocad, Building

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