The Index Tower occupies a prominent corner site within the Dubai International Finance Centre, a financial district intended to establish Dubai as an investment market to rival Hong Kong and New York, and to provide a catalyst for further economic growth in the region. Balancing a mixture of residential, commercial and social uses to support the Finance Centre and wider community, the 80-storey building represents a vertical city quarter with a population of around 6,000 residents and workers on a 20,000-square-metre site.

The floors are supported by four A-frame concrete 'fins' that taper as they rise, creating a slender profile that reveals the building's structural system and internal organisation. The twenty-five floors of office space are concentrated at the base of the tower, so that the living spaces above can take advantage of views towards the coast. The different functions are separated by a spectacular double-height, fully glazed sky lobby, articulated externally as a horizontal break in the façade. Residents' facilities include a lounge, restaurant, pool and health club and the tower is crowned by twelve luxurious duplex and triplex penthouse apartments with spectacular views over Dubai. A small central lift core, serving 40 levels of apartments, rises to the sky lobby, where a local lift core transports residents to their individual apartments.

The Index exploits the sustainable paradigm of maximising the environmental benefits of a compact, high rise form with an efficient design that reduces the need for mechanical cooling systems and artificial lighting. Oriented east to west, turning away from the city axis to maximise views and reduce solar gain, the building's core mass absorbs heat and limits its reliance on mechanical ventilation. A system of sunshades shelters the interiors on the exposed south elevation. Entrance is via a dramatic four-storey atrium and the tower sites on a landscaped podium, which provides shaded pedestrian routes through the site and a range of places to eat, shop and socialise.

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