Dubai Unveils World’s Largest Cantilever Over Six-Lane Highway
In Dubai, the world’s tallest cantilever—which extends from between two skyscrapers at the mixed-use One Za’abeel development designed by Japanese company Nikken Sekkei—has finally been completed.
The cantilever, which is 67.5 meters long, is a component of The Link, a longer horizontal structure that is suspended 100 meters above a six-lane highway and has a massive infinity pool on top.
There are two sites when The Link is connected to the buildings. Nikken Sekkei built the towers such that they would occupy either side of the highway and act as a four-story bridge when combined.
The longest cantilever in the world is now 67.5 meters long, facing northwest toward the Arabian Gulf, surpassing the 66.5-meter-long observation deck at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
The Link, the focal point of One Za’abeel, a posh mixed-use complex with residences, hotels, offices, shops, and restaurants, was created by Nikken Sekkei. The idea of the project is to provide a visual entryway to the city center.
The Link is only five meters shorter than the smaller of the two buildings at 230 meters in length. With a height of 305 meters, the second tower solidifies its position among Dubai’s increasing collection of supertalls, or buildings rising above 300 meters.
Setting a world record “was not the main aim” of the endeavor, according to Nikken Sekkei.
“Adding something new to the skyline of Dubai, that was a challenge for us,” reflected Fadi Jabri, the CEO of Nikken Sekkei’s Dubai office.
“We tried to come up with something which is very simple,” he told Dezeen.
“It was not the main aim to reach that goal [of world’s longest cantilever],” added project lead David Lehnort, while on a tour of the development.
“You want to stand out in a certain way,” he continued. “I think this is a more Japanese approach, to take a step back. The architecture is becoming the background for the scenery and all the drama that is going to happen here with all the luxury, sparkle and glamour.”
One Za’abeel has 530,000 square meters inside of it, of which 26,000 square meters are used for offices and 12,000 square meters for shops.
The One Za’abeel The Residences, the shortest tower, with 264 private residences spread over 59 stories.
One&Only, a high-end lodging company, manages nine penthouses and 94 private residences within the 68-story One Za’abeel Tower. The building also houses 229 hotel rooms and suites, which the company refers to as a “urban resort”.
Along with conference and event facilities, a spa, eleven restaurants, and a fitness and wellness hotel with 132 rooms, One Za’abeel Tower also houses Siro. Hotel management company Kerzner is in charge of both the Siro and One&Only buildings.
Due to its external diagrid structure, The Link itself has three stories of restaurants and bars with interiors free of columns. With a glass floor, the section at the farthest end of the cantilever offers views of the road below.
Amidst its rooftop features is a record-breaking feature that is meant to mimic “a beach in the sky”: the longest suspended infinity pool in the world and the longest rooftop infinity pool in the United Arab Emirates.
According to Philippe Zuber, CEO of Kerzner, “[This project] gave us the opportunity to think about what an urban resort stands for,” he told Dezeen.
“We thought that since we didn’t have a beach, we should build The Link. This is a beach in the sky, an elevated pool bar. This is truly something exceptional.”
The 14 basement levels of One Za’abeel are evenly distributed among the towers, while The Podium, a three-story building that connects the towers from ground level, houses a number of shopping and recreational amenities.
An “urban park” featuring plants and a swimming pool that aims to imitate Balinese sceneries is located on The Podium’s roof.
Thanks to a number of energy-saving technology, the project has complied with the LEED green building certification’s Gold standard requirements.
Nikken Sekkei claims that this comprises an energy-efficient glass facade system in addition to automated electrical, lighting, and ventilation systems.
In two sections, The Link was raised over the six-line highway in 2020. Before the 900-ton cantilever was fixed in place over a period of four days, the first portion, weighing 8,500 tonnes, was raised over a period of twelve days.
The Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest structure, is located in Dubai, hence One Za’abeel is not the first record-breaking structure in the city. Architect Adrian Smith created the 828-meter-tall structure while he was employed at the SOM architecture office.
The Busan Cinema Center in South Korea is another structure with a cantilever that breaks records. The building has the longest cantilever roof in the world, measuring 85 meters, without any columns.