Case Study: Sowwah Square

An anchor development for Abu Dhabi’s new commercial centre, Sowwah Square provides the new headquarters for the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and comprises four office towers overlooking water. Designed by Goettsch Partners, it contains over 290,000m2 of office space and integrates two levels of retail and two parking structures.

The centerpiece of the development’s first phase is the business centre, which includes a 22,670m2 stock exchange building. According to the architects, the designs employs a sustainable approach and looks beyond the LEED certification.

The site
The scheme, developed by Mubadala, is located on the previously undeveloped Sowwah Island, which was identified in Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 as the city’s new Central Business District, in addition to the adjacent edges of Mina Zayed and Reem Island.

A landscaped plaza connects the four buildings and the exchange. Beneath this, a two-storey podium provides upscale shopping along the waterfront. The north and south edges contain parking structures.

The concept
According to the architects, the four-level stock exchange building projects an image of strength and solidity. Glass-enclosed, with a roof the size of a football field, the building rises 27 metres above a water feature on four massive granite piers. The piers house the stairs, mechanical risers and service elements.

Surrounding the stock exchange building are four office towers which range from 31 to 37 storeys in height. The first full office floor of each building starts 34 metres above the ground level.

The details
With sustainability a main focus for the development, Sowwah Square is the first project in Abu Dhabi to be pre-certified LEED-CS Gold. Ventilated, double-skin facades provide insulation while solar shading reduces heat gain and light.

The roof of the exchange building contains 2,550m2 of photovoltaic panels to capture solar energy for use throughout the project. The design also incorporates condensation collection from cooling coils to supply the water feature as well as providing irrigation.

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