One of the most luxurious developments in Dubai, City Walk brings together high-end fashion brands, fine dining restaurants, opulent homes, and aweinspiring entertainment venues. Developed by Dubai’s foremost real estate company, Meraas, City Walk is a design-inspired lifestyle destination.
Meraas and global design experts from Benoy worked together to create this multi-purpose space right in the heart of the city. This unique property, complete with its own rain forest, al-fresco dining options and busy stores, was created to meet the diverse needs of residents and tourists alike. A small part of the much larger Downtown area, City Walk has become a bustling cultural and retail hub for the city.
With City Walk being a luxury retail development, we were tasked with the job of creating a glamorous and striking façade for the property. The architect wanted to create an exterior that would reflect the mood of its surroundings, compelling us to push the envelope and think of unique solutions to meet the design requirements. The structure was conceptualised to have a chequered façade that didn’t compromise on vision.
This became one of the most interesting challenges for us to overcome. Given the harsh desert climate and extreme temperatures faced in the city, we had to ensure that our design helped control the glare from the panels while also providing shaded areas for comfort. Additionally, the design called for the panels to change colours through the day without affecting the view from inside. Most importantly, we needed to ensure that our façade solutions were low-maintenance, easy to install, and met all the local building code requirements.
City Walk has become a city’s hotspot throbbing with energy
To achieve a dynamic façade while maintaining neutral views from the inside, several panel options were tried. We ran through the concept with our design team and experimented with sputtered coats, ceramic frit, and metal inserts. While these materials enabled us to achieve the external appearance required, they disrupted views from the inside. Finally, we selected a product from our VIVIDVIEW range by creating a customised panel using SEFAR mesh AL 260/25 laminated with float glass. The patented mesh we used was unique as it allowed us to achieve the exterior metallic appearance without obscuring views from inside.
The VIVIDVIEW Vision Mesh that was utilised in this project also had a significant functional advantage as the three-dimensional SEFAR mesh acted as mini-louvres that filtered the light passing through it. This, along with the smart use of open areas, allowed us to reduce the glare by dispersing the light. The glass panels were placed strategically across the façade to provide shade from the hot desert sun whenever required.
In order to meet local building code requirements, a high performance clear low-E glass from Guardian was incorporated into the IGU make-up. We manufactured the special glass for the façade at our in-house state-of-the-art facility and were able to create panels that changed their colour from silver to orange through the day. Our stringent quality checks at the glass processing facility were critical in eliminating on-site rejections. While selecting the glass for this project, we ensured we sourced panels that did not require any special maintenance and could be installed in the façade design with ease.
City Walk has become a city’s hotspot throbbing with energy. Despite the predominantly hot weather and the open-air restaurants and walkways, people can be seen milling about the area through the day, enjoying the beauty of the architectural marvels all around. The VIVIDVIEW panels offer a one-sided vision, providing residents with unparalleled views of the surrounding area, while also giving them the privacy they deserve. Additionally, the three dimensional panels help bring the structure to life. The use of special glass panels with metallic lustre allowed us to create a façade that reflected the surrounding areas while enveloping the entire space in a majestic glow.
Project Name: City Walk
Developer Name: Meraas
Main Contractor: Al Shafar General Contracting (ASGC)
Sub-Contractor: Al Abbar Aluminium
Processor: Future Architectural Glass
Quantity: 4,000 sq. metres
Location: Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai
Product: VIVIDVIEW (vision panel using Sefar AL 260/25, metal-coated fabric mesh with Sunguard Neutral Low-E)
Processes involved: Lamination, insulation, heat treatment