Many people living in or travelling through Dubai will be aware of the dominance over the city skyline of a large monolith known as the Index. The distinctive shape and size of Index has already made it an iconic part of the Dubai cityscape.
The building is a 326 metre-high, mixed-use development located in the heart of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). It is effectively one building on top of another, wherein lie two varying but integrated structural systems. The first 25 floors comprise high quality commercial space featuring three separate 26 metre clear span bays with no columns. Sitting above this is a 16 metre-deep composite steel and concrete transfer structure, that also supports a separate 48-storey luxury residential building. A double height sky lobby separates the offices and apartments and includes recreational facilities such as the swimming pool and gym. A further minor transfer structure on level 72 is also home to the first private substation at this height in Dubai.
The structure is oriented to reduce solar gain, and employs a system of sunshades on the exposed south elevation. The building takes a particularly interesting approach at its base, with only structural fins and cores reaching all the way to the ground. The remaining space opens up in an open-air shaded atrium with large pools, which create a cool micro-climate around the tower’s entrances.
In recognition of the skilled design and construction, The Index was awarded the 2011 Best Tall Building Middle East & Africa Award by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat – an impressive accolade in a city such as Dubai where skyscrapers dominate the horizon.