Mirage, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The team leaded by architects Enrique Bares, Federico Bares, Nicolas Bares, Daniel Becker, Claudio Ferrari and Florencia Schnack, associated with architect Alejandro Rios obtained the third prize in the International ThysseKrupp Elevator 2009.

The territories of the Arab Emirates have «the desert» as their true patrimony. The desert’s symbolism epitomizes the regional, including religion, literature, and arts, strongly characterized by the nomadic culture that has given place to the tradition of the movement along vast territories. One of the salient features that inspired the project has its roots in this vision of the nomads, where the objects to assemble the desert tents were light and ephemeral structures. We therefore propose an evanescent, weightless structure, as a representation of the optical phenomenon of the mirage in the desert.
The icon that we propose reflects and dissolves as brightness in the desert, referring to an immanent preexistence of the hot sands underneath and around the new city. When the city cools off the object ignites.
The hyper development and complete formulation of a new territory is defined by the advance of a coastal Mega City. It progresses into the desert, with new buildings that are benchmarks of Western Modernity. This massive development is shaping the image of the new city. In this context, we believe that the new icon for Dubai demands to project signs that refer to the preexistence of the «desert» more than objects that Dubai already has, which could envision the ¨Occidental¨ future, in its prolific portfolio of objects related to tourism and leisure.
The encounter of cultures between the desert that retires and the new city that advances leaves in the object traces of these crossings; western technology in one hand and the symbol of the mirage in the other.
In addition, the new city does not raise a cohesive fabric but is the result of independent fragments. The icon-building proposed is in this context, located in a park near the central axis of the city. The park acts like an oasis and the new building like a mirage that arises from it.

A radiance of memories
Our idea is to create an object that dematerializes in reflections as opposed to a repertoire of motionless ¨actual¨ objects. (As opposed to one that is motionless and «actual»).
An object that could be perpetuated by carrying immanent and eternal meanings that «The Sun and the sand of the desert «.
This object carries a chapter of the history of the desert, with light, music, and reflections of the Sun.
In this case, the height is not what could define a new icon for Dubai. In fact, the existing buildings and the Burj Dubai project with more than 800 meters in height, is beyond the height of our project. We understand that can not compete by producing a new object but to create a dematerialized one, dissolving the attributes without the formal monumental character and producing a phenomenon, that’s create an effect, rather than an object that stands out in the sky.

10 concepts of the icon building
1- Dissolution of the form
The building is conceived like a non-object. It is dematerialized in the space, becoming light and reflections, ethereal and intangible. The height is not enough to define the pregnancy of the object.

2- Ethereal
The object appears and disappears, or changes its form depending on the point of view. At a distance it looks like a reflection or a sparkle of lights; from the inside it is a beam of light rain.

3- Weightlessness
The supporting elements of the structure (hollow metallic columns) and the steel wires fade away in the space formed by the illuminated vertical lines.

4- A journey in the space
From the access patio, linked to the park, it is possible to follow a vertical route to the panoramic terrace. Both arrival and departure areas are shaded, fresh and comfortable spaces that remember the action of going from one place to another, as a journey through a rain of light.

5- Celebration of the movement
The three hollow columns contain the vertical movement, with transparent elevators expressing the dynamic dimension of the object, making the movement in the space visible.

6- A structure of light and movement
The structure incorporates a system of 3D LED that allows programmable three-dimensional images.

7- The triangle
The Islamic architecture has a very precise geometry based on the numerical relations in three dimensions, starting from the line in space and the triangle being the origin of all the figures.

8- A musical instrument
The tensile cables of the structure have a built-in system of microphones that turn the building into a «GREAT HARP», formed by a system of cords capable of measuring the «breathing of the building».

9- A flying carpet
The panoramic deck and cafe is a triangle suspended at 170 meters of height in the sky of Dubai.

10- Meeting of cultures
The icon is charged with symbols of the Arabic culture and technological solutions of the Occident.

Structure materialization
The object consists of three big columns of 170 meters of height that support a triangle of reinforced concrete of 70 meters on each side.
The basement is a triangular building of reinforced Concrete half buried in the existing park.
Given the height involved in the project, and the great mass that one finds in the top level, it is fundamental to contemplate the design of the structure to function in response to the horizontal actions produced by earthquake and wind action.
The functioning of a structure submitted to seismic effects, improves, independently from the magnitude of the earthquake, depending on the same resistance of the same one. The existence of three axes with equal moment of inertia, involves equal response, in any direction. In our case, three axes of equal structural magnitude to 60 degrees intercepting ortometricaly to the sides, it allows defining to the chosen structure, as identical response for any direction of the earthquake.
Given the height involved in the previous thing materialized with a structure formed by 3 metallic, equidistant columns, in whose interior is foreseen the passage of the vertical cores (stairs and elevators) and facilities.
The terrace and restaurant whose structure are post-tensioned slabs, of way of draw weight of the structure, achieving the optimization of the materials, remembering that the seismic effects are proportional to the masses.
One has worked with principal cables in the shape of cross, in 3 planes formed between the columns, of way of collaborating in taking the horizontal loads produced by the seismic action and the wind.
To the effects of muffling the vertical deformations produced by the seismic or wind action, vertical pre-tensioned cables have been placed in way of assuring the structure’s permanent uprightness. The roof of the terrace is a metallic frivolous structure. The foundations, in agreement with the characteristics of the local soil, are piles of great diameter.
In the schemes that are attached later, are observed graphs of displacements of the structure under the seismic action (for being bigger than the produced one for the wind), deformed in the plant of the level of the terrace, and the principal maximum tensions and minimal performers in the columns, which include the tensions induced by the vertical cables, being all the values inside the admissible ranges. In the above mentioned graphs the tensile vertical ones have not been included to facilitate the reading.
The graphs of tensions and deformations that are attached have been realized depending on the constitutive materials by means of the program STRAP 12.5 (Structural Analysis Program).
The cables of steel of high resistance have been foreseen in agreement to the Norm ASTM A586 Class C by a nominal diameter of 101,6mm.
The vertical cables have been foreseen of the same material by approximately a nominal diameter of 25,4mm.
The columns have been foreseen by steel ASTM 572 Degree 50 by an outside diameter of 6000mm and thickness of 100mm, giving maximum deformations, for the maximum earthquake foreseen in the zone of agreement to the norm indicated in the bases of the contest, of 40cm, according to the graph DISPLACEMENTS that is attached.
The vertical deflections for maxim it loads in the base of top concrete according to the graph DEFLECTION LEVEL +175, they are of 3,51cm for the totality of the loads of own weight and live load.
The tensions in the columns measured by his slenderness, it gives maximum values of compression of 333kg/cm ² (to see PRINCIPAL MINIMUM STRESS) and values of traction of 85,3kg/cm ² (to see PRINCIPAL MAXIMUM STRESS). The variation of the tensions to the high of the column is exposed different colors in the corresponding graph.
The foundation, which will be able to be determined authentically by the study of soils in the second stage, has been supposed (already be with massive concrete or piles) of way of achieving a total full restraint.

The introduction of light to the structure of tension, allows the creation of a mesh of luminescent points formed by a RGB unit system, that allows infinite changes of color, shapes and virtual textures, operated by a mixed control system (manual programmed and midi). The system interacts with the sound programs that are generated in the microphones incorporated into the wires, making evident musical and visual compositions.
Hardware: it is made up of powerful RGB LEDs units located regularly, depending on the greater or smaller desired definition. In addition, it incorporates a control system. The kind of LEDs system to be use will be controlled by the DMX512 protocol to obtain the video pixel effect.
The electricity supplying wires and command lines will be placed between the wires and their wrapper, where also will be placed the drivers for each unit or group of units.

The building can be considered as a great harp whose cables act like cords.
A contact microphone will be placed inside each cable that allows to register the sounds caused by the wind or the structural adjustments generated by temperature variation (it will be possible to hear the breathing of the mega-structure).
The building will be designed alongside with a great electro-acoustic system capable of producing high quality audio performances for the areas inside the facility as well as its surroundings.
It will be possible to filter and amplify the sounds captured by the contact microphones thanks to a digital signal processing (DSP) program and to produce, from these signals, a virtually infinite variety of sounds and effects. With this audio material it will be possible to:
• Enter the external sounds inside the building.
• Mix and to modulate the sounds of the breathing of the building with natural sounds chosen «ad-hoc» as the singing of birds, the sound of the sea, etc.
• «Acoustic paint» the surroundings from a system of audio designed specifically for that purpose.
• Interact acoustic with the cables as a great musical instrument. The cables can be beaten, rubbed, blow, pressed or electronically stimulated.
• Mix and modulate the sounds of the breathing of the building with existing musical pieces.
• To use the sounds of the breathing of the building like material to compose new musical pieces. The system is especially suitable to interact with electro-acoustic music or music generated by computers.

Audio-visual system/multimedia
The previous acoustic system, together with the «skin-screen» of the building, allows considering the whole as an enormous multimedia instrument, opened to an almost infinite range of possibilities. To begin with, it avoids freezing it in the time like a static and isolated monument. It turns it into a dynamic work that is created, developed and grows as time goes by and interacts with its surroundings. It will become a «living monument» that will increase its heritage in layers that will be accumulated diachronically. In order to fill of content this great linen cloth multimedia, it will be possible to set up different strategies, worth mentioning:
• Command artists and composers to create specific acoustic or audio-visual facilities to this building (artists like Hiroshi Yoshimura, Manuel Rocha Iturbide, Martin Liut or Gary Hill have done this with great success in different locations).
• Promote the call to competition that award acoustic or audio-visual works specially conceived for the new building/instrument/linen cloth. A possibility would be to create a major international competition with worldwide diffusion that every year would set Dubai like a pole of innovative artistic attraction.
• All the performed works would be completely digitally recorded – audio and image. It will be possible to reproduce the originals with optimal fidelity in the occasions that are considered appropriate (a determined day of the week, special festivals, dates, etc.).
• Create a musical garden in the surrounding of the building.
• The above items briefly list the wide range of possibilities of the system. Many other will appear, as the artists and technologists

Further information at: www.B4FS.com/miragedubai

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