The Index mixed-use tower in Dubai has won the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat Award, beating a record number of nominations to be judged the best new high-rise building in the Middle East and Africa.
The 80-storey tower is the first building designed by Foster + Partners to be completed in Dubai and combines 520 luxury apartments with 25 floors of office space. The different functions are separated by a spectacular double-height, glazed sky lobby, with views over the city to the coast. At the towers base, a landscaped podium creates pedestrian routes through the site and incorporates a range of places to eat, shop and socialise.
Located on a prominent corner site within the Dubai International Finance Centre, the 326 metre-high tower, developed by Union Properties, is unusually offset against the urban grid, oriented east to west to maximise views of the desert and coastline. This orientation also reduces solar gain, as the buildings core mass absorbs heat and reduces its reliance on mechanical ventilation. A system of sunshades shelters the interiors on the exposed south elevation.
The towers distinctive form and slender profile follow a desire to reveal the buildings structural system and internal organisation.
The floors are supported by four A-frame concrete fins that taper as they rise. This provides flexible, column-free office accommodation, which can be arranged to provide a headquarters for an international corporation or subdivided to support multiple tenancies.
At the base of the scheme is a landscaped plinth, with sculpted pools of water and an underground car park, and the tower is entered through a dramatic four-storey foyer. The main lift cores, which serve the office floors, are located at the eastern and western edges of the tower. A small central lift core, serving 40 levels of apartments, rises to the sky lobby and shops, restaurants, pool and health club; a local lift core then transports residents to individual apartments. The tower is crowned with 12 luxurious duplex and triplex penthouse apartments with spectacular views over Dubai.