By Savitha Hira
Photography: courtesy Architect Hafeez Contractor
23 Marina, the exclusive waterfront address overlooking the azure blue waters of the man-made Marina Waterfront in Dubai, was until August 2012, considered the world’s tallest residential tower at 392m...
The building is designed by India’s numero uno Ar. Hafeez Contractor, whose passion for buildings seems to be escalating like his structures – rising high into the skies, as if aspiring for the ultimate touch!
The 90-storey tower hosts a combination of luxurious 2 and 3-bedroom apartments and 48 lavish duplexes with varying vistas; it offers unique features such as private elevators, open deck plunge pools and private Jacuzzis. The imposing 6-storey entrance offers a dramatic sense of entry into the tower; besides amenities that boast of a health spa, landscaped garden, jogging track, indoor and temperature controlled pools etc.
In the chic urbane locality dotted with hi-end retail establishments and international eateries, the octagonal tower in composite aluminium and blue glass with a spire at its pinnacle stands apart as a lofty landmark.
While the basic form of the building has been derived from its adherence to zoning regulations with restrictive ground coverage, Hafeez altered the initially planned oval form to octagonal to counter wind loads owing to vertex movement. With the requisite structural stability into place, the podiums and protruding triangular balconies that contrast with its distinct profile accentuate the mechanics of the design. The triangular canopies covering the terrace and embracing the spire further streamline the form and give it a dynamic disposition.
With this as his latest offering on the world map, closer home, the architect is still striving to lay special emphasis on social housing to irradiate the housing shortage in the country and realize his dream of providing a house for every Indian.