Building and transporting the Burj Al Arab Terrace

Construction Week takes a look at how the 5,000-tonne Burj Al Arab Terrace was constructed in Finland and transported to its new home in Dubai

Burj Al Arab Terrace spans 10,000m2 and offers uninterrupted views of the main hotel building.
Burj Al Arab Terrace spans 10,000m2 and offers uninterrupted views of the main hotel building.

Dubai’s latest floating landmark was unveiled on 25 May by Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Burj Al Arab Terrace is an outdoor luxury leisure facility that was developed using off-site construction techniques.

The structure’s design incorporates a 612m2 freshwater pool and an 828m2 saltwater infinity pool. Up to 10 million mosaic tiles line the pools, while 1,000 tonnes of white sand was used to create the beach. The Terrace is linked to the Burj Al Arab building with a central walkway. Its swimming pools and 1,120m2 beach area are supported by a heavy-duty steel structure.

The project was developed by a Finnish marine construction firm, named Admares. The 5,000-tonne artificial island was constructed at a shipyard site in Finland and transported by ship to Dubai in eight pieces, ensuring minimal disruption to guests, as well as the seabed and marine life.

The luxury leisure facility spans 10,000m2 and stretches 100m out into the sea. The project also includes a restaurant and cabanas, according to Dubai Media Office.

During his tour of the facility, HH Sheikh Mohammed was briefed on the project’s construction and design phases, and the building technologies used to transport the artificial island from Finland to Dubai.

Remarking on the Burj Al Arab Terrace, Mikael Hedberg, CEO of Admares, said: “We’re immensely proud of this project.

“It gave us the opportunity to create a unique structure that could be installed in its final location with very little disruption to hotel guests and marine life, and in a remarkably short time frame.

“It is an impressive feat of engineering: the off-site fabrication in Finland and subsequent installation in Dubai makes it the biggest-ever undertaking of its kind in the world,” Hedberg added.

According to Admares, the resort’s architectural form reflects the shapes and forms of the Burj Al Arab, with the prevailing theme of a stylised tropical canopy pervading the structure throughout, offering contrasting areas of dappled light and shade.

Glass was used extensively throughout the project to form components such as tropic-inspired glass panels, counters, and specially commissioned light installations for the interiors – not to mention a curved glass-sided bridge to allow uninterrupted views of the Burj Al Arab.

Admares collaborated with architect Sigge, and interior design studio Kudos, on the development. Commenting at its launch, Pekka Mäki, CEO of Sigge Architects, said: “We’ve worked before on ground-breaking architectural projects around the world, but this has been a special collaboration for us.

“The opportunity to work on the iconic Burj Al Arab is interesting in its own right, but what marks out the project is the level of innovation and technical ambition. It brought the best out of our team and we’re very proud of the result.”

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Construction Week - Issue 765
Jun 29, 2020