A collaboration between LAB Architecture Studio and ERGA Progress, the Guardian Towers project in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, is a mixed-use complex comprised of an 18-story residential tower, 18-story commercial office tower, and a two-level retail podium. The offset tower footprints break the static tradition of extruded, rectangular tower blocks. Distinctive facades attest to different occupancies for residential, with balcony extensions, and office block, with sleek compression.
LAB Architecture Studio used GenerativeComponents for extensive testing and visualization of the double-skinned façades and fritted glazing, which were designed specifically for the extreme heat and humidity of the locale. Using MicroStation streamlined not only the complexities of the design, but also the logistical challenges of the team of international partners.
The project was delivered two months early with considerable savings, and the office and residential towers are now fully occupied. Guardian Towers provides a stark contrast to the prevailing architectural norm in the Abu Dhabi skyline. Despite the apparent complexity of the massing and facades, with shifted, off-set, and tilted surfaces, the structural plan of both towers follows a simple and economical column grid.
LAB Architecture’s sculptural approach to design has been made possible in part through the design capabilities of MicroStation and other Bentley products such as Generative Components. Continued training on Bentley products ensures that LAB Architecture employs “correct-to-fit” technologies for a range of different projects.