Abu Dhabi Global Market Square

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

As designated by Abu Dhabi’s 2030 urban framework plan, the five-building, 290,000-square-meter Abu Dhabi Global Market Square complex defines the anchor for the new CBD. Comprising four office towers and the headquarters building for the Abu Dhabi Global Market, an international financial center, the complex strives to create a signature image for downtown—but one that is driven primarily by providing an efficient, premier office environment and less as a sculptural statement. The complex also promotes a public, walkable presence and emphasizes 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 financial headquarters 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.

The project emphasized a sustainable design approach throughout. One of the main initiatives involved the environmentally responsive enclosure system that uses a mechanically ventilated cavity and a double-skin façade system over large portions of the office buildings. These elements help mitigate the 40 ºF interior-exterior temperature differential. The double-skin cavities run the entire height of the four office towers. Within the cavities, active solar shades track and adjust for the sun angle in order to provide optimal shading to the building’s interior. Active lighting controls also help balance natural and artificial light. As a result of these and other measures, the complex became the first integrated development in Abu Dhabi to be certified LEED-CS Gold.