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Infinity Tower: Work in Progress

by Stuart Matthews on Apr 20, 2010

Each floor, or slab plate, rotates 1.08 degrees around a fixed cylinder core.
Each floor, or slab plate, rotates 1.08 degrees around a fixed cylinder core.
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Infinity Tower is under construction in Dubai Marina. Middle East Architect checked up on the building as its distinctive form takes shape

Infinity Tower, located in the Dubai Marina, is set apart from its neighbours by its rotating structure and is spiraling into the sky at a fast pace, with one floor being cast every five days.

The gradually turning tower was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, of Burj Khalifa fame, with the twist maximising views out of the building.

“At the lower floors there are more units oriented toward the Dubai Marina, near the top of the tower they face the Arabian Gulf,” said Ross Wimer, design partner for Infinity Tower.

The building is set to be topped off at 73 storeys and 305m in height, with the entire development scheduled to be delivered in April next year. The project has come on strong after an initial set-back in 2007, when a diaphragm wall that held back the sea was breached, flooding the site.

Developer Cayan spent close to AED 100 million on dewatering and works after the incident occurred.

This was added to the total construction cost, which now equates to AED 1 billion. Arabtec won the main construction contract in December 2006, but price escalations followed as construction in the GCC region boomed. The main construction contract is now valued at around US $209.6 million.

Each floor, or slab plate, rotates 1.08 degrees around a fixed cylinder core. Once the tower is complete, the 73 floors will make a cumulative 90 degree turn.

The core wall is one meter thick and tapers as the tower rises. There are no pillars in the building; instead it is supported via a complex concrete column structure that works with the core to hold the building up.

“As with all of our high rise designs, it was tested both in computer models and in a wind tunnel,” said Wimer. “One thing we discovered in the testing is that the twisted shape performs better in the wind than a rectangular extrusion of the same proportions.

“One of the challenges was to keep the geometry of the condominiums as regular as possible, in spite of the tower’s external shape, and to be sure that the tower could be built quickly and efficiently.

“We achieved this by stepping the structure of the tower and designing the framing, so that the same formwork can be used for all of the floors in the building. The formwork is simply rotated about one degree at each successive floor level.”

Infinity tower
: Cayan
Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Main contractor: Arabtec