One Za’abeel completes record-breaking cantilever milestone

  • Nikken Sekkei-designed One Za’abeel development is home to the world’s longest cantilevered building, The Link, which stands at a length of 226 metres and weighs 9,500 tonnes  
  • In the final phase of the lifting process, the cantilever has been hoisted 100 metres above the ground connecting the two towers of the iconic development 

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 27 October 2020: Representatives from Nikken Sekkei, the leading Japanese architectural, engineering, and urban design firm, have celebrated the milestone of lifting the world’s longest cantilevered building, The Link, to its final destination 100 metres above the ground.

The 226 metres, 9,500-tonnes cantilevered structure connects the two towers of the iconic One Za’abeel development, with the final piece now raised into place and completing the feat of architectural ingenuity.

The design concept of the new iconic landmark, which is located at the heart of Dubai and the gate of the Dubai Financial Centre, was created by architects and engineers from Nikken Sekkei. The firm designed a cantilever that is ‘off’ the towers, giving it a floating effect.

During the final phase of the lift, traffic was brought to a standstill as 800 ultra-strong steel cables pulled the behemoth structure 100 metres above ground and into place.

Dr. Fadi Jabri, Nikken’s Executive Officer, Principal responsible for MENA, CIS, and India regions, said: “Dubai is no stranger to superlatives, especially when it comes to its iconic skyline. Our remit was, therefore, to develop a concept and design that was genuinely unique and indicative of the emirate’s determination to be a city of the future.

“Dubai is perhaps one of the only places on earth that it could have been constructed due to the sheer complexity of the design and construction techniques.”

Developed by Ithra Dubai, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Investment Corporation of Dubai, the two-tower mixed-use One Za’abeel development will feature offices, a luxury and ultra-luxury hotel, retail, entertainment, and high-end residential units.

The Link itself is expected to become a new refined destination. It will feature a range of attractions including Michelin star standard restaurants, observations decks creating panoramic picture opportunities, and an infinity pool, all creating a distinctive lifestyle destination. 

Nikken Sekkei has designed and collaborated on more than 65 projects across the region’s cultural, commercial, and hospitality sectors, during 30 years in the Middle East.  Iconic buildings include the Islamic Development Bank HQ in Jeddah, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry building on Dubai Creek, and the Tadawul HQ building in Riyadh.

“When we design buildings, we reflect on the spirit, the essence of the locations, its place in time, and the vision of the leadership. In that sense, with One Za’abeel, we challenged ourselves to create and construct something unique unlike anything the world has ever seen before, which reflects perfectly the welcoming, open-minded, and pioneering spirit of Dubai,” concluded Jabri.

Nikken has managed over 25,000 projects in 250 cities in 50 countries and has one of the largest portfolios of work of any architecture firm in the world.

To view a time-lapse video of the lift, please click here         


About Nikken Sekkei

One of the world’s largest architectural and engineering design firms, Nikken Sekkei employs over 2,770 professional staff in six group companies offering comprehensive design, engineering, management, consulting and R&D services. The company’s portfolio consists of over 25,000 projects in 250 cities, in 50 countries. These projects cover a broad range of services including master plans and mixed-use developments, transportation (airports and railway stations), offices, R&D, education and culture, production and logistics, healthcare and welfare, commerce, hotels, and residential complexes.

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