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Site visit: One Palm, Dubai

by Jumana Abdel-Razzaq on Feb 24, 2018




Palm Jumeirah has seen its fair share of elaborate projects. Developments on the island are known to consistently push the boundaries of architecture and design, adding to the exclusivity of what is one of the world’s most complex stretches of man-made land.

Dubai-based developer Omniyat is adding to this high-profile waterfront with the intricately designed One Palm, a residential project located on the southern tip of Palm Jumeirah’s trunk. The development made global headlines last year when one of its penthouses sold for a record-breaking $27.8m (AED102m), making it the most expensive penthouse in Dubai at the time.

Ground was broken for the 100m-tall One Palm in 2016, and the 84,541m2 development will be the tallest residential structure on the Palm. The development topped out in September 2017, and 60% completion has been recorded on the project, for which Multiplex is the main contractor.

Development director at Omniyat, Peter Stevenson, says the project is on track to be delivered by Q4 2018. He tells Construction Week that the project features 94 “ultra-luxury apartments”, adding: “We have three penthouses and 91 residences in the building.

“We have finished structural works for the project and are now working through the façade and finishes systems. Essentially, we are ‘rolling up’ the building,” he continues. 

One Palm features three-, four-, and five-bedroom apartments, in addition to three penthouses. The residential space for the three-bedroom units can range from 280m2 to 465m2, while the largest penthouse spans almost 3,000m2.

The project’s amenities will include a spa; indoor and outdoor cinemas; a fitness centre; a business centre; a library; meeting rooms; and three pools, one of which will measure 800m2. Two basement levels with almost 500 car park spaces are being developed as well.

The project will also feature a private beach, a yacht club, and a private jetty, in an effort to capitalise on the property’s waterfront location. 

Omniyat recently announced that One Palm is to be the first residential development in the Middle East to be managed by the luxury hospitality brand Dorchester Collection. 

 “We have teamed up with Dorchester from London, which will be providing the management services for the building, as well as the ‘à la carte’ services to all residents,” Stevenson says.

Designed by New York architect Soma, the building’s exterior reveals a complex scheme of varyingly stacked apartments, arranged something like a Jenga puzzle. The interiors, meanwhile, were designed by Japanese firm Super Potato and London-based Elicyon.

Super Potato’s president, Takashi Sugimoto, says that in delivering One Palm’s design, the firm was inspired by materials found in ancient Japanese architecture and tea rooms. According to Omniyat’s literature, Sugimoto says “the original inspiration for One Palm comes from the use of stone, wood, metal, and glass, to give the feeling of living in the air and amongst nature”. 

Landscaping that will complement the development’s water- and air-inspired design was carried out by Vladimir Djurovic, a Lebanon-based landscape architecture firm.

Stevenson says the building’s cantilevered design posed minor engineering challenges, as did its formwork system requirements: “On this project, the external spaces are as large as the internal spaces, which is [unusual for this type of development]. 

“Every high-rise has its hitches, but this site is no different to any other,” he says. 

However, the fact that each apartment within the development has its own design sets One Palm apart from other projects that Omniyat has developed. 



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