My Favourite Building: Emirates Palace
Kone’s ME safety & quality manager Siva Gnanam chooses Abu Dhabi hotel
The Emirates Palace hotel complex stands out as the favourite building of Kone Middle East’s safety and quality manager, Siva Gnanam, who has 30 years of experience in the ups and downs of the vertical transportation business.
He said that he is inspired by the fact that the building, despite its modernity (it opened in 2005), looks like an ancient King’s Palace.
“The design of the hotel combines traditional Arabic elements like the Grand Atrium dome finished in silver and gold glass mosaic tiles,” he says. “The colours are beautiful shades of the desert – russet, orange and yellow.”
Building work on Emirates Palace, which is owned by Abu Dhabi Municipality and run by the Kenpinski Group, started in December 2001. The project architect was Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo, and construction was undertaken by the Arabian Construction Company, Arabtec Construction, Belhasa Construction and Actor Electromech. KY&A designed the hotel’s interiors.
The Grand Atrium dome is one of just 114 throughout the building, which also has more than 1,000 chandeliers made from Swarovski crystal, 302 grand rooms and 92 suites. It even has two helipads.
More than 12,000 people worked on its construction, which involved the use of 250,000m3 of concrete and the installation of 110.000m3 of marble. There are also over 12,000 signs and 7,000 doors.
Emirates Palace is also the official guest palace of the government of Abu Dhabi with 22, three-bedroom suites where heads of state and entourages are hosted. The highest floor has six rulers’ suites for members of Emirati royal families.
Siva Gnanam, Kone Middle East
Siva Gnanam is safety and quality manager at Kone Middle East. He joined the firm 30 years ago as a commissioning engineer in Cochin, India, and has since progressed to his current position through a series of promotions – from technical service manager, branch manager, training manager and safety manager.
Since 2004, Gnanam has been working for Kone in the United Arab Emirates. He has experience of major projects like towers at Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Residences and projects on Yas Island.Currently, he is supporting all Kone’s ongoing projects. Gnanam studied in India and holds Diplomas in Electronics and in Lift Erection and Maintenance.
In the region, the firm has installed lifts in Aldar’s Abu Dhabi HQ, Burj Qatar and Al Faisal Tower in Doha, and the Makkah Clock Tower.