A series of futuristic, lifecycle net-negative carbon commercial towers boasting the region’s first ‘experiential sensory design façade’ are earmarked to be built in the Middle East.
Based on the Forbes International Tower concept, the 55-storey towers are planned for Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The Forbes International Tower in Egypt will be located in the northern Central Business District of Cairo’s New Administrative Capital overlooking a 20,000-sq-m Forbes Park, according to the developer Magnom Properties. The location of the other two towers is yet to be revealed.
Magnom Properties, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Rawabi Holding, has partnered with Designworks, a BMW Group Company, to launch an emotionally engaging experiential design for the façade of the upcoming Forbes International Tower. An agreement to this effect was signed recently between the two entities at BMW Welt in Munich, Germany.
Being built in partnership with global media company Forbes and placing itself at the forefront of the sustainable design movement, the Forbes International Tower will be the first project of this scope in the Middle East for Designworks, BMW Group’s innovation studio and a global creative consultancy.
“Responding to the environmentally sound, future-ready building’s broader and natural context, Designworks will enrich the design and experience of the tower through sensorial and surprising stimuli to deeply connect with the tower’s occupants, visitors, and other audiences,” says Othman A Ibrahim, Vice Chairman and Group CEO of Rawabi Holding and Vice Chairman of Magnom Properties.
Working at the intersection of design, technology, and innovation, Designworks will follow the experience design process of the BMW Group and focus on human needs and expectations to create a sensory experience for the tower’s contextually responsive soaring glass, steel, and photovoltaic-laced exterior.
In an exclusive interview with Gulf Construction, Magnom Properties’ CEO Maged Marie elaborates: “The exterior wall of the project will consist of high‐quality materials and finishes in keeping with a first‐class office building. The goal is to maintain a high‐performance sustainable design while expressing a luxurious high‐class aesthetic.”
The design concept is shaped by specific requirements namely, embracing organic, fluid forms with gentle edges that seamlessly connect various project masses; incorporating photovoltaic (PV) technology into the facades; ensuring a continuous flow of lines both horizontally and vertically and installing integrated LED lights within the tower’s mullions and podium glass.
The experiential design will be achieved by the integration of different illumination technologies such as flashlights and high-performance spotlights, as well as using the atrium as a depth effect in the building, he adds.
Aligned with the vision of the building’s architects Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG Architecture), the collaboration with Designworks will ensure a harmonious fusion of architectural and experiential elements.
The strong focus on aesthetic lighting solutions will convert the architectural structure into a captivating and dynamic work of art, creating a memorable visual signature that resonates with both residents and visitors in the community.
Under the agreement, Designworks will create an experience map for the Forbes International Tower, including a signature façade illumination and charging experience. The goal is to enable a positive and seamless customer experience across every touchpoint of physical and digital interaction that prioritises the user’s needs and seamlessly links architecture and technology to enrich every moment spent inside the tower.
As lead design consultants of the exterior and charging experience at the Forbes International Tower, Designworks team’s goal is to transfer the unique emotions and experiences embodied across BMW Group’s luxury models to the architectural exterior and interiors of the iconic tower.
“The Forbes International Tower is an ambitious project that is elevating the standards of sustainable design and pushing boundaries of modern construction,” says Marie. “Collaborating with Designworks as a design partner perfectly aligns with our vision to craft a truly exceptional experience that integrates innovative technologies to reimagine the occupant’s journey within and outside the building.
“As ‘Architects of the Future’, Designworks has a wealth of experience in the field of future mobility and urbanity and deep knowhow of the luxury automotive industry. This knowledge will flow into the experience design of the futuristic Forbes International Tower and shape an intensive emotional and sensory engagement for all its users and visitors.”
Holger Hampf, Head of Designworks, says the BMW Group was the world’s first car manufacturer to have its own environmental protection officer as early as in 1973, and today sustainability is at the heart of the company’s focus – far beyond the automobile.
“As a BMW Group subsidiary, we are proud to be partner for the exterior and charging experience design for the Forbes International Tower because it is our firm belief that good design can contribute to changing customer mindsets and behaviour and promote more responsible actions,” he remarks.
Excerpts of the interview with Magnom Properties’ CEO:
Forbes International Tower will have an emotionally engaging experiential design – provide details of the design vision and how this will be translated on site?
Forbes International Tower will set a new standard for environmentally responsive architecture. The building’s shape and exterior expression are designed to optimise, to protect from and take advantage of the local environmental conditions. The building will respond to the natural environment of the site with the goal of achieving balance and harmony with nature and its physical context.
The tower seamlessly integrates modern intelligent building technologies to create a flexible work environment as well as a destination for entertainment and leisure.
The exterior wall of the project will consist of high‐quality materials and finishes in keeping with a first‐class office building. The goal is to maintain a high‐performance sustainable design while expressing a luxurious high‐class aesthetic.
The design intent is driven by the following requirements:
• Organic fluid forms with soft edges connecting smoothly between the different masses of the project;
• PV integrated facades;
• Continuity of lines, horizontally and vertically; and
• Integrated LED lights within the tower mullions and podium glass.
Elaborate on the “signature façade illumination and charging experience”.
Magnom Properties has partnered with Designworks. which is the design innovation studio for the BMW Group. The team will be responsible for the experience design of the exterior (façade) as well as the charging experience (This includes the customer journey from entering the building … through what happens at the individual touch points and how those touchpoints look … to how to spend time during charging).
The objective of Designworks is to transfer the unique emotions and experiences known from BMW Group’s luxury models to the architectural experience of the Forbes International Tower, creating iconic and unforgettable moments. Designworks will place a strong focus on lighting design (a key driver of emotion) and making the charging process an experience.
The tower will offer so called signature moments to visitors, which will be visible from different distances. Similar to the moments people experience in BMW vehicles, the designers speak of so called “Wow”, “Meaningful” and “Love it” experiences that will translate to the façade with engaging and entertaining themes expressing the tower’s core values. The modern aura will be supported by efficiently using the most recent technologies in terms of light and graphical solutions. This will be achieved by the integration of different illumination technologies all over the building façade, such as flashlights and high-performance spotlights, as well as using the atrium as a depth effect in the building.
As for the charging experience, Designworks will develop a signature charging experience concept translating the exterior experience concept as part of the Forbes International tower charging experience. The charging experience includes the customer’s journey from arrival at the parking garage to guiding visitors to the staging electric parking spaces, the creation of a welcome scenario for the charging process to leaving the underground car-park.
Will the tower have a kinetic façade?
The architectural style of kinetic facade is applied through the animations and illumination technology on the façade of the Forbes International Tower.
While the façade itself never changes or moves, different themes of lighting experience illuminate the surface, making the building appear to be moving.