Monday 17th October 2016
Breaking records and being ‘the first’ is in the DNA of this city Dubai, no doubt about it. After hearing a while ago about a building in my neighbouhood generated then built from a 3D printer I set about searching for it. Yesterday on my way to Jumeira Emirates Towers at DIFC there it stood, white and organic; curved and post modern; a fully functioning office campus used already by my reckoning, I noted, by the chairs inside pushed about, and the odd note pad strewn over a table.
This incredible city simply knows no boundaries when it comes to brilliance: the Dubai Future Foundation stands centurion at the gateway to my favourite business hotel, Emirates Towers and in complete contrast to it in shape, design, feel. Global architecture firm Gensler designed the building; I’ve been googling their work all day.
The 3D-printed building has all the amenities of traditionally constructed structures, such as electricity, water, telecommunications, and air conditioning. The office is also outfitted with energy saving features, including window shades to protect from Dubai’s blazing sun. In order to create all the pieces needed for the office, builders used a 3D printer measuring 6 meters high, 37 meters long, and 40 feet wide. Seven installers and 10 electricians and specialists worked together to assemble the office in just 17 days. Its been estimated this represents a 50% cost savings in labour alone compared to buildings of similar size built with conventional methods.
Set in verdant gardens the 2,600-square-foot, single-story, multi-building campus housing the Future Foundation will help provide smart technologies for Dubai. First item on its big agenda: delivering the World Future Games, set to take place in 2017. Between then and now take yourself down to DIFC and stroll through the campus. Its a real 3D pleasure on the senses.