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World Trade Center, Abu Dhabi

When the team was appointed to design this 7.5 million square foot, mixed-use development in 2006, the basement had already been excavated and the developer wanted to begin construction immediately. Within four months, WSP USA, formerly Halvorson and Partners, developed preliminary design information to issue the first piles for construction, and continued to issue advance construction packages as the building's design developed in parallel. 

World Trade Center Abu Dhabi

The heart of the development is the re-imagined central Souk - the city's open air market. A multi-story podium integrates the souk, retail, parking, and a low-rise hotel and covers the 550,000 square foot site, including bridging over a major street. Soaring above are a pair of modern towers - a 58-story office tower and an 88-story residential tower. The latter, the Burj Mohammed Bin Rashid Tower, is the 21st tallest building in the world.

WSP USA collaborated closely with Foster + Partners on this project, from concept design through construction administration. Some of the project's key technical aspects include:

High-rise optimization and Wind Engineering Integration: The Burj Mohammed Bin Rashid Tower is the world's 21st tallest building; it is also quite slender - with an aspect ratio of 13:1. Wind engineering optimization studies allowed the team to parametrically study and optimize numerous forms and structures before selecting final solutions. A high performance concrete test program justified higher material stiffness assumptions, which minimized material usage to further optimize the structure for this slender form.

Fast-track Foundation and Podium Design: The deep basement foundations responded to many technical challenges, including a high water table and corrosive soils. Flexible unbraced frames in the Souk allowed architectural freedom for ongoing change. WSP USA's primary task was to continue the steady pacing of phased structural construction drawings ahead of all other disciplines without compromising the architectural intent.

The Burj Mohammed Bin Rashid Tower was named Best Tall Building in the Middle East & Africa by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) in 2015.

The CTBUH is the world's leading organization focused on tall buildings. Its annual awards were created to recognize buildings that embrace features such as sustainability, aesthetics, tenant experience, and integration of the building in its habitat.