Skybridges – The Opus and One Za'abeel

Jens Fussing
Technical Director
BG&E, Dubai

The Opus is a truly unique development, located in the Business Bay district of Dubai, adjacent to the Burj Khalifa. The two towers are connected by a sculptured skybridge, spanning 40 meters. The sky bridge is four stories on one side and six stories on the other, enabling the twin-tower scheme to be imagined as a single structure. The skybridge, when installed, acts as the upper part of a portal-framed structure. The bridge was installed with segmentally erected segments from each tower until they eventually joined in the middle. The temporary platform for the soffit of the bridge also served as the platform for the façade installation.

The One Za’abeel Towers project is part of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) development. The mixed-use complex includes a Prince’s office, five-, six- and seven-star hotels, residential and office levels. The towers are interconnected with a four-level-deep steel skybridge, 230 meters long, cantilevering 65 meters out from the tallest tower. In contrast to the Opus, this skybridge was constructed on top of the permanent podium structure over an existing highway, and then lifted up into position in a single operation. The bridge is located 120 meters up, on the outside of the two towers, which are 300 and 240 meters tall, respectively. This induces large eccentricities and subsequent lateral movement of the towers. The presentation covers construction and deformation of the bridge and control of building movements, as the two towers and bridge act as a portal frame once unified.