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The Index Tower is a brainchild of Britain-based Foster + Partners in collaboration with UAE-based developer Union Properties. Previously coined One Central Park, the project announced in 2005 was supposed to be the world's tallest residential tower at 326 m, but was quickly put out of the race by the time of its completion in 2011. This architectural wonder is located in a prominent corner of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
The building is a mixed-use project, offering a mix of residential, commercial and social uses to support the DIFC. Towering over 80 storeys, the building can host a small town vertically, with capacity for approximately 6,000 residents and workers on a 20,000 square metre site.
The unique sleek, minimalistic design of the Index Tower makes it one of the toppers on our list of most beautiful buildings in Dubai, and of course, one of the most sustainable. The tower is oriented from east to west, so it moves away from the city's axis, thereby reducing sun exposure. This enables the building's inner ventilation systems to remain less stressed. Additionally, the structure maximises views over the DIFC, coastline and desert. During the sweltering summers, the towers in-house temperature without air condition reportedly will not surpass 28 degrees Celsius.The core mass of the Index Tower absorbs heat and a sunshade system located on the south elevation shelters the interiors, thereby making this tower a cooler location, in so many ways than this one.
The four A-frame columns that act as supporting features resemble fins as they cut through the sky, creating a solid infrastructure to the building and giving it a futuristic edge. The base of the building is a exquisitely landscaped podium, offset by sculptural pools of water and an underground car park. The grand entrance of the building spans four whole floors.
The base of the tower is dedicated to office space which spans 25 storeys. The residential apartments are accessible through a stunning chrysalis sky lobby. This is noticeable by a slight break in the façade, making the building distinctive. Crowned on top of the building, are exclusive duplex and triplex penthouses. Residents of the tower have ample amenities to choose from, including a lounge, restaurant, pool and health club.
Each distinct function of the building is separated by a glazed sky lobby, also visible on the building façade. All floors except the penthouses are accessible by a central lift core.
At the time of its unveiling in 2011, the tower beat several show stopping high rise apartments to win the 'Best Tall Building in the Middle East & Africa' by Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Since then, it has also received the Golden HOSPCA Award in Shanghai.
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Images courtesy: Foster + Partners