9 oct 08 | World Architecture News (online)

Meraas Development taps Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill for megaproject

By Sharon McHugh

Despite the global credit crunch, construction is booming in Dubai. The Dubai based development company, Meraas announced this week that it has commissioned Chicago architect Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture to design four new projects worth approximately $15 billion. The projects - 1 Dubai, 1 Park Avenue, Park Gate and Meraas tower- are part of the Jumeirah Garden master plan which is under construction and expected to be completed over the next 12 years.

"We're incredibly excited to be collaborating with Meraas Development on these fantastic projects," Adrian Smith said. "Any one of these projects is a dream commission for an architect. We're deeply gratified by the confidence that Meraas has placed in us, and look forward to playing a role in realizing its vision of Dubai as one of the most important and architecturally spectacular cities of the 21st century."

1 Dubai, which at 2,000 ft high will be one of the tallest and largest towers in the world, is the centerpiece of the development. It consists of a trio of towers connected at their base and by skybridges. A true vertical city, 1 Dubai will house two world-class hotels, office and retail space and some of the world's highest condominiums and luxury facilities, for a total area of 13 million sq ft.

1 Park Avenue is a 116 storey tower with three podium buildings at its base. The tower's undulating sculptural form celebrates Dubai's historic relationship to water and the city's pearl trading heritage. The tower will incorporate 4 million-sq-ft of mixed-use space including houses, premium offices, condominiums and service apartments, along with the world's highest luxury hotel.

The third project in the development is Park Gate. It will cover 4.7 million sq ft in six mid-rise towers linked together by soaring vaulted canopies.

All three projects are designed to the highest environmental standards.