x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 17 December 2017

Aldar's disc HQ in Abu Dhabi ranked among the world's most spectacular offices

Aldar's headquarters takes its place alongside 15 other global landmarks like the Petronas Towers and Lloyds of London in a line-up of the world's most dazzling corporate HQs.

Aldar's HQ at Al Raha, Abu Dhabi.
Aldar's HQ at Al Raha, Abu Dhabi.

DUBAI // Aldar’s disc-shaped headquarters has taken its place alongside global landmarks such as Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers and the Lloyd’s of London building in a line-up of the world’s most dazzling corporate offices.

The 23-storey circular building at the capital’s Al Raha Beach has been named in a list of 16 eye-catching structures compiled by a jury of experts.

Designed by MZ Architects, which has offices in Abu Dhabi and Lebanon, the 110-metre tall building, which opened in 2010, was the first upright circular building in the Middle East.

This is not the first time the building has won international recognition – it was named Best Futuristic Design at the 2008 Building Exchange Conference in Spain.

The structures, which are not listed in any particular order, were selected from dozens around the world by experts from the building-data firm Emporis. The jury considered innovative design, visual impact and function in making its choices.

The list also includes two BMW buildings in Munich, the Hearst Tower in New York, Gazprom’s headquarters in Moscow, the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong and the Adidas Laces building in Herzogenaurach, Germany.

Some of world’s best-know architects and practices are represented, including Cesar Pelli, Richard Rogers, Foster and Partners and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the company behind the Burj Khalifa.

“Especially for big companies, architecture has become an important image factor in recent years,” said an Emporis spokesman.

“Buildings serve as corporate representation and are a company’s ‘built business card’.”

The accolade for the Abu Dhabi landmark was welcomed by Ahmed Al Ali, an Emirati architect.

“It is very important to recognise such a building and highlight the importance of architecture in this region,” he said. “Good architecture brings good recognition, and buildings represent new attitudes. And, as we celebrate the importance of traditional architecture, we should celebrate also new buildings.”

Mr Al Ali, a principal at Dubai-based X Architects, said the Aldar building was beautifully designed.

“Maybe I disagree a little bit with the colours and the details,” he said. “But the form of it is very nice, especially when you see it from far away and the sunset casts a shadow that is a beautiful dark circle.”

Aldar is in the process of merging with fellow Abu Dhabi developer Sorouh.

Power Structures: The World’s Most Spectacular Corporate Headquarters will be officially announced tomorrow. For full details, see www.emporis.com

csimpson@thenational.ae