Launch Slideshow

Situated in a cove on the Dubai waterfront, the Matrix Gateway Complex is a 180-meter mixed-use cube that rests above the water and in between two landmasses. A road passes through the center of the mega-building, and boats can pass under the exterior walls of the cube, which is adjacent to a 1-million-square-foot park.

Matrix Gateway Complex

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

Matrix Gateway Complex

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

  • Situated in a cove on the Dubai waterfront, the Matrix Gateway Complex is a 180-meter mixed-use cube that rests above the water and in between two landmasses. A road passes through the center of the mega-building, and boats can pass under the exterior walls of the cube, which is adjacent to a 1-million-square-foot park.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmpD7BC%2Etmp_tcm20-283804.jpg

    Situated in a cove on the Dubai waterfront, the Matrix Gateway Complex is a 180-meter mixed-use cube that rests above the water and in between two landmasses. A road passes through the center of the mega-building, and boats can pass under the exterior walls of the cube, which is adjacent to a 1-million-square-foot park.

    600

    Courtesy Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

    Situated in a cove on the Dubai waterfront, the Matrix Gateway Complex is a 180-meter mixed-use cube that rests above the water and in between two landmasses. A road passes through the center of the mega-building, and boats can pass under the exterior walls of the cube, which is adjacent to a 1-million-square-foot park.

  • The roadway that cuts through the 3-million-square-foot structure connects the neighboring landmasses. Because the road is a main thoroughfare, it will ensure that the cube is an integral part of the local infrastructure.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmpD7BB%2Etmp_tcm20-283788.jpg

    The roadway that cuts through the 3-million-square-foot structure connects the neighboring landmasses. Because the road is a main thoroughfare, it will ensure that the cube is an integral part of the local infrastructure.

    600

    Courtesy Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

    The roadway that cuts through the 3-million-square-foot structure connects the neighboring landmasses. Because the road is a main thoroughfare, it will ensure that the cube is an integral part of the local infrastructure.

  • A 3D model of the structure shows the network of concrete cores (red) and tension columns (green) organized into an 18-meter grid that supports the structure. To account for the high winds that are common in the region, team members conducted studies to visualize the truss and core deflection with high winds blowing from different directions.

    600

    Courtesy Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

    A 3D model of the structure shows the network of concrete cores (red) and tension columns (green) organized into an 18-meter grid that supports the structure. To account for the high winds that are common in the region, team members conducted studies to visualize the truss and core deflection with high winds blowing from different directions.

  • The interior is organized into a series of cores and terraces of space, organized by typology. Urban infrastructure includes the boat dock, roadway, parking, and a helipad. Beyond that, there also is space for office, hotel, residential, recreation, and cultural areas, essentially creating a small city???complete with green space???within the solar-screened walls.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmpD7BA%2Etmp_tcm20-283772.jpg

    The interior is organized into a series of cores and terraces of space, organized by typology. Urban infrastructure includes the boat dock, roadway, parking, and a helipad. Beyond that, there also is space for office, hotel, residential, recreation, and cultural areas, essentially creating a small city???complete with green space???within the solar-screened walls.

    600

    Courtesy Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

    The interior is organized into a series of cores and terraces of space, organized by typology. Urban infrastructure includes the boat dock, roadway, parking, and a helipad. Beyond that, there also is space for office, hotel, residential, recreation, and cultural areas, essentially creating a small city—complete with green space—within the solar-screened walls.

  • The solar screening on the exterior walls helps filter the desert area’s intense sunlight and limit heat gain, and solar panels embedded within the screens also generate energy. The cooling effects of the Persian Gulf and the system of waterfalls, combined with shading, will help control the temperature inside. Modules of programmed space hang from five central cores and are connected by walkways and green spaces.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmpD7BE%2Etmp_tcm20-283836.jpg

    The solar screening on the exterior walls helps filter the desert area’s intense sunlight and limit heat gain, and solar panels embedded within the screens also generate energy. The cooling effects of the Persian Gulf and the system of waterfalls, combined with shading, will help control the temperature inside. Modules of programmed space hang from five central cores and are connected by walkways and green spaces.

    600

    Courtesy Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

    The solar screening on the exterior walls helps filter the desert area’s intense sunlight and limit heat gain, and solar panels embedded within the screens also generate energy. The cooling effects of the Persian Gulf and the system of waterfalls, combined with shading, will help control the temperature inside. Modules of programmed space hang from five central cores and are connected by walkways and green spaces.

What If an Entire City Could Be Housed Under One Roof?
Matrix Gateway Complex / Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

Site
A cove between two landmasses in a cove on the waterfront in Dubai.

Program
A 3-million-square-foot enclosed cube with urban infrastructure supporting residential, commercial, hospitality, and cultural uses.

Solution
It seemed until recently that Dubai was going to continue forever its quest to build taller, faster, better buildings. But the Matrix Gateway Complex, by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, while certainly no small project, seems to take a different tack. “I appreciate the sort of restraint of this, the notion of making a kind of interior world that might have potential for a new kind of experience. It’s not simply about making some sort of icon on the skyline,” said juror Stan Allen. The massive 180-meter (590-foot) cube is built on an 18-meter (59-foot) supergrid, with steel frame structures clustered around, and hung from, five vertical cores. Accessible via a roadway that passes through the center of the building, a helipad, and a boat dock, the cube has a hotel with conference facilities, retail and office space, residences, a museum, a school, and a prayer hall—all of the major elements of a small city.

The semi-transparent skin that covers the structure is embedded with shading screens and solar panels, which reduce heat gain while generating some electricity for the complex. Additionally, the condensate from the humidity in the air will be collected and converted into drinking water. The water from the adjacent Persian Gulf will help cool the complex, as will interior waterfalls and breezes flowing through the skin. Juror John Peterson appreciated the architects’ approach and summed it up as, “ ‘We can do anything we want, so why not create something holistically?’ ”

Project Credits

Project Matrix Gateway Complex, Dubai
Client Meraas Development
Architect Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, Chicago—Adrian Smith, Gordon Gill, Bob Forest (partners); Les Ventsch (director of design); Alejandro Stochetti, Dennis Rehill (senior project architects); Jeff Boyer (director of clean technology systems); Brett Bridgeland, Andy Leitz, Ben Loeffler (project team); Brendan Gibbon (model builder)
Structural Consultant Thornton Tomasetti
Size 3 million square feet, plus 1-million-square-foot external park