Site visit: Princess towerby CW Staff on Jul 9, 2011
While Downtown Dubai is graced by the 828m-high Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, the other end of the city, Dubai Marina, is host to an equally impressive record: The Tallest Block in the World. Here a bunch of super-tall towers are clustered together in a single block, ranging from 250m to over 500m.
Jani Palkola from KONE has only been in Dubai a couple of weeks when he meets CW at the site of the Princess Tower. He is clearly enamoured of the Tallest Block in the World, where the Finnish elevator specialist is racking up an impressive reference list, including Elite Residence, The Torch and Infinity Tower.
While the common perception is that the global financial crisis has dampened the appetite for high-rise construction, Dubai Marina is evidence of the contrary.
Building tall not only remains in fashion, but the latest technology and construction techniques, particularly in the area of vertical transportation, have made it easier, safer and more cost-effective to do so.
At 414m high, Princess Tower is billed as the world’s tallest residential building. It comprises six basement levels, a ground floor and 100 additional floors housing one-, two-, and three-bedroom luxury apartments and two- to three-bedroom duplex apartments, while the upper floors house four-bedroom penthouses, offering a total of 763 apartments.
The total built-up area of the project is 162,580m2. Facilities and amenities range from a five-star lobby, an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, a fully-equipped gym, sauna, steam and Jacuzzi to a special occasions hall, billiards hall, table tennis courts, electronic games hall, satellite facilities, children’s nursery and parking for each flat. Eight retail spaces have also been provided on the ground floor.
Last month, developer Tameer Holding Investment (THI) announced that main contractor Arabian Construction Company (ACC) had completed the superstructure. “Princess Tower is now in its final stages of construction, and we look forward to the delivery and handover of this project,” said THI president Federico Tauber.
While core-and-slab construction is tried-and-tested, super-tall towers pose significant logistical challenges due to their height. It is in this arena where KONE has made its mark, with the Dubai Marina a global benchmark for the company’s innovation.
Indeed, Palkola says KONE often brings engineers and potential customers from around the world for hands-on visits to its project sites in Dubai Marina. In this way, Dubai is helping to push the global envelope for high-rise design and construction.
At the Princess Tower, Palkola explains that KONE’s JL1000 JumpLift was used in two phases. “The JL1000 unit was used for heights of up to 300m, with a single JL2000 being able to traverse the building’s entire height. Elite Tower has the largest and fastest JumpLift operation in the world.”
Here a JL2000 operates at a load of 4,000kg, a speed of 4m/s and a travel of 400m. “It is CE-approved – even at these loads, speeds and heights,” says Palkola.
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