Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, Dubai
Mashreq Bank is the oldest privately-owned bank in the United Arab Emirates and the first in the country to install ATM machines, issue debit/credit cards and introduce consumer loans. In recent years, as Dubai’s geographic focus shifted from older areas to Downtown Dubai, many of the key international bank offices also shifted. Given Mashreq’s status in the UAE, the company followed suit and commissioned a design for its iconic new headquarters, providing its staff modern office space with the best amenities and 17 floors of tenant office space.
The design team endeavored to create such an iconic building by emphasizing structural design to achieve a very aesthetically unique and functional architectural design; one that would capitalize on self-shading and offer clear views of the Sheikh Zayed Road skyline. The structural design allows most of the corner of the square tower to be cut away, while remaining at the upper three levels, placing the respective inner facades of the “L”-shaped tower in constant shade, which allowed for a clearer glazing surface. The cut-away portion of the tower also facilitates and accentuates the presence of the level 7 Mashreq staff amenity floor, by way of an outdoor terrace. The remainder of the tower façade is clad in a random pattern lattice of aluminum and glazed fins, also offsetting the harsh sun and glare, and creating a contrasting pattern to the uninterrupted clear-glazed facades.