O-14 / Reiser + Umemoto

© Nelson Garrido

Architects: Reiser + Umemoto
Location: , United Arab Emirates
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Nelson Garrido

Project Area: 31,400 sqm
Structure: Perforated Concrete Exoskeleton

O-14, a 22-story tall commercial tower perched on a two-story podium, broke ground in February 2007, and comprises over 300,000 square feet of office space for the DubaiBusinessBay.  O-14 is located along the extension of Dubai Creek, occupying a prominent location on the waterfront esplanade.  With O-14, the office tower typology has been turned inside out – structure and skin have flipped to offer a new economy of tectonics and of space.

© Nelson Garrido
© Nelson Garrido

The concrete shell of O-14 provides an efficient structural exoskeleton that frees the core from the burden of lateral forces and creates highly efficient, column-free open spaces in the building’s interior. The exoskeleton of O-14 becomes the primary vertical and lateral structure for the building, allowing the column-free office slabs to span between it and the minimal core.  By moving the lateral bracing for the building to the perimeter, the core, which is traditionally enlarged to receive lateral loading in most curtain wall office towers, can be minimized for only vertical loading, utilities, and transportation.  Additionally, the typical curtain-wall tower configuration results in floor plates that must be thickened to carry lateral loads to the core, yet in O-14 these can be minimized to only respond to span and vibration.  Consequently, the future tenants can arrange the flexible floor space according to their individual needs.

© Nelson Garrido

The main shell is organized as a diagrid, the efficiency of which is wed to a system of continuous variation of openings, always maintaining a minimum structural member, adding material locally where necessary and taking away where possible.  This efficiency and modulation enables the shell to create a wide range of atmospheric and visual effects in the structure without changing the basic structural form, allowing for systematic analysis and construction.  As a result, the pattern design is a combination of a capillary branching field, gradients of vertical articulation, opacity, environmental effects, a structural field, and a turbulence field.

© Nelson Garrido

The project has generated extraordinary international interest in the architectural press as it is among the very first innovative designs to be constructed among a sea of generic office towers which have come to be the standard in Dubai’s current building boom.  O-14 was recently featured in ‘ImpossibleCity’, an hour-long television documentary about the recent growth in Dubai, which was produced by CBS News and aired in the U.S. on the Discovery Channel in October, 2008.  In May 2009, the tower’s concrete structure was completed and the building was topped out, making O-14 one of the first towers to appear in the skyline of Business Bay, Dubai.  It was completed in January of 2011.


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Cite: "O-14 / Reiser + Umemoto" 18 Sep 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=273404>
  • John Smith

    Now all they need is democracy, rule of law, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the right to freely organize… The right to kiss someone in public wouldn’t hurt either…

    • Monty Greene

      Hey John. I am an American who has lived here 6 years. Keep telling everyone how awful it is so those of us who are enjoying the fruits of doing business here will have it all to ourselves. I’m in no hurry to leave. Yes it’s best not to kiss in public, but you would turn so many shades of red if you knew what goes on here behind closed doors. And America is not a democracy, they just have you hoodwinked.

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  • Chipo Mugomba

    Wow, its the “cheese” building! I live like 2 blocks from here. Great insight behind the design.

  • Edgefit

    IT has a Sponge Bob soul. Sob! Sob!

  • 구재환

    감탄시가 절로나오게 하는 건물이군. 필로티공간과 연결복도가 맘에 쏙 든다

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