Information superhighway destroys stereotypes and brings a new outlook at how the business centers should be developed.
The tradition implies that the business centers must be located in a city's downtown, near the upscale shopping malls, along with the five star hotels and the expensive department stores. Such business areas require large plots of land for construction sites, big parking lots, as well as high comfort and functionality.
Recently, however, the green suburban zones and parks have become immensely popular with the organizers of various conferences, seminars, business people, etc. It is much easier to hold business meetings in the green suburban zones, where the participants can relax, rest and stroll in the pleasant environment. Natural surroundings, clean air, and the lack of urban noise create a relaxing atmosphere, and offer economical and environmental advantages.
A business center must be very well planned architecturally in order to be attractive to perspective clients. This includes modern construction technologies, as well as the innovative equipment and high-tech interior design.
The Center of International Tourism in Dubai created an innovative project as part of an international competition in 2008.
The competition required that the nature of the projected building would be given by the competitors themselves. The building's height was limited to 170 meters. Every floor also had a limit area wise.
The project sought to realize the idea of combining information, business, and entertainment functions within a limited area of one building, while preserving the surrounding environment.
All people, despite their age and creed share the desire to have fun, socialize, and stay healthy. Today's mass tourism is geared toward satisfying all three of these desires. This is why the project envisioned this new type business center as a park building.
The decision to make this building with enfilade hallways full of exhibition centers, business and conference rooms, and leisure areas seemed to be the most perfect one.
Part of the project was to change the regular one floor above the other hallway structure into a multiple level spiral alley with a man made creek, decorative pools, flowers, exotic plants and fish, as well as models and pictures of some famous attractions. The elevators will be located in the center of the building, and all along the perimeter. The alley's total length is going to be 2 kilometers.
Such a plan allows creating a multi-function space which can be easily transformed into something else.
Up to five separate offices will be located along the perimeter of every spiral. This allows having around 200 international tourist agencies in the tower.
Every office is going to be equipped with a panoramic screen for videos and ads. The offices will have furniture to seat 20 to 30 people, refrigerators, TVs, radio, computers, and beverage machines.
The offices can be used for business meetings, presentations, signing contracts, etc. Every office will also have a panorama view of the surrounding area. The offices will be equipped with partial or full blinds, which will allow total darkness even in the daytime, if desired by the clients.
The lower part of the tower is going to be connected with the two culture and entertainment centers. The information and entertainment center will have a tape form. It will rise gradually around the foundation of the building, and then descent toward the sea museum.
The sea museum is going to be located on the five underground levels. The main part of the museum will be shaped as a seashell, with an area of 3720 square meters. It will occupy the upper level. An aquarium with clear glass walls will be built in the museum, 18 meters in diameter, and 15 meters deep. This aquarium will occupy all of the underground levels. The aquarium will have a staircase and an elevator in its center, inside a cylinder pillar. The spiral staircase and the elevator will be used as attractions for better views.
Besides the sea museum, the underground levels will have parking area, cafes, and maintenance rooms.
The culture and entertainment center will be shaped as a seashell with four levels connected with the main tower via the passage ways. It will have a 300 seat main conference hall and a theater, a library, a small conference hall, a restaurant, a children's café, bars, cafeterias, gift shops, and a playroom. The uppermost level, which will be located right under the dome, will have a hothouse with exotic plants and fish tanks.
The uppermost part of the tower will have two restaurants seating 75 people each, and a café for 40 people. They will be located in a sphere 18 meters in diameter, above an open observation deck; 140 meters above the ground, on two levels. All three levels will have spacious halls with bars. From here, one can climb even higher, all the way to the overlook points inside the glass towers.
The whole center will be constructed with its own eco system, as a self-reliant living organism. The circulation of water through the pipes in the carcass of the building will cool the air down, and provide comfortable atmosphere.
This project of the Elizabeth Park tower in Dubai will symbolize unity between the peoples of the world, and care for the world we live in.
The open palm is a symbol of peace, mutual help, and understanding. Many eastern cultures consider it as a talisman which brings happiness and protects from evil.
The main facade of the building will point directly north. This is for the sake of lowering the insolation. The tower will be built with due consideration for the panoramic views of the surrounding area and the sea coast, and for giving people the opportunity to watch the sunrises and sunsets from all angles.
When the weather is bad, the observation decks can be closed by sliding windows. The windows will have double glass, with self-regulating cleaning, and a system of water cooling, to keep the building from overheating.
As an innovative technique, liquid crystals will be sprayed on the glass surfaces. This will enable the glass to change its colors depending on the lighting, air temperature, and other factors. This will help to liven up the building's appearance, making it more attractive. This specially sprayed glass will be installed on the outer part of the building, as a part of the so-called "ventilated facade".
All of this will create a unified building complex, and will make it a very unique monumental center.
By Albert Notkin, a member of the Architects' Union of Russia,
and the project's creator