The Comeback of the Skyscraper

Investors and architects aiming high worldwide – with integrated access solutions and security technology from DORMA

The Comeback of the Skyscraper

Ennepetal, Germany. Estimates indicate that, by the year 2030, there will be five billion people living in the world‘s cities, with the number of million-plus metropolises expected to increase from a current 300 to 600 in the coming years. The rapid expansion of our urban centers has triggered a boom of major projects. High-rises in particular are currently experiencing an incredible comeback. Investors and architects are once again turning their eyes skyward. Around the world, there are 600 buildings with a height of at least 200 meters either under construction or at the planning stage. The bigger and higher the building, the greater the desire for a strong, reliable partner worldwide – particularly where the emphasis is on quality, convenience and security. And where the project involves hundreds of storeys, the quantities of the fixtures required can rise to several thousands. Here, DORMA offers its customers planning reliability, flexibility and a local presence. And the company’s references include some of the world’s best known high-rise buildings.

Asia hits the heights
In China particularly, the cities are expanding rapidly, with skyscrapers literally shooting out of the ground like mushrooms. The Shanghai Tower is a true megaproject in a megacity. With a height of 632 meters, it is the tallest building in the country and the second highest in the world. At a vertiginous 556 meters is a public viewing platform, the highest of its kind in the world. The floors below are dedicated to various activities including offices, hotels, shopping arcades and the like. The façade of the Tower twists like a spiral with a 120 degree turn from bottom to top, imparting to the skyscraper its unmistakable appearance. DORMA’s contribution to this special project encompasses door closer systems and automatic doors.

A little further west in Asia – in Singapore – can be found the d’Leedon residential complex designed by world famous architect Zaha Hadid. DORMA products used here include integrated door closers, glass architectural hardware for the shower cubicles, and automatic doors. The seven towers of the complex, each with 36 floors, appear to have been randomly tossed onto the ground. The façades seem to be constantly on the move, expanding or tapering toward the top. The result is a wide variety of new and highly individual condominium constellations, with each layout different from the next.

Up, up and away in the land of the skyscraper
In the USA – arguably the home of the skyscraper – can be found further projects involving DORMA. One of the most prestigious was certainly the contract for the revolving doors adorning the entrance area of the new One World Trade Center in New York. The main users of the 541 meter high building will be financial institutions attracted by the generous office space. The upper cuboid of the building has been rotated at an angle of 45 degrees, aligning the top and bottom quarters. This ensures that the façade does not have too capricious an aspect, while also adding to its power and dynamism. In US measurements, the new tower at Ground Zero is 1,776 feet high. This too is symbolic, for it was in 1776 that the USA declared its independence.

The new Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro extends upward in unique and spectacular fashion. Located directly on the beach, it also pushes out onto a pier that encroaches well into the sea. The complex forms part of a major urban development project aimed at transforming Rio’s waterfront promenade into a blooming cultural and residential landscape. With its 5,000 square meters of floor space, the museum will be showcasing exhibitions dealing with the future of our planet. And the entire building is itself very much future-aligned. Its high level of energy-efficiency means that an LEED gold award – a certificate documenting the sustainability credentials of buildings – is very much in the offing. And DORMA has made its own contribution to this positive eco-balance, with door closer systems, glass architectural hardware and glass horizontal sliding walls manufactured on a resource-efficient basis to ensure a suitably small carbon footprint.

Tall and sustainable in Germany
Just like the Museum of Tomorrow, the Vodafone Campus in Düsseldorf is a green building likely to qualify for an LEED certificate in gold. The new group headquarters of the telecommunications giant provides work for 5,000 employees on 86,000 square meters of floor space distributed over 19 storeys. Important research into the design of modern workplace environments has been utilized in the building’s design, with the external architecture and interior styling reflecting the company’s corporate culture characterized by a commitment to communication and teamwork. The office complex showcases a cross-section of the DORMA product portfolio, ranging from swing door operators and automatic sliding doors to horizontal sliding walls and lock hardware.

Hotel highs in Dubai
The Gulf region is experiencing a veritable skyscraper boom at the moment. The JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai is currently cited in the Guinness of World Records as the tallest hotel in the world, with a height of 355 meters. Originally, the hotel was designed not with two but with just one tower. Now, the 1,600 rooms and suites are distributed between two towers. DORMA greets the hotel guests even as they enter the hotel through its revolving doors, with door closer systems, automatic doors and movable walls from the company also having been installed in this project.

Europe also eyes the heavens
A further project with DORMA participation is the CMA CGM Tower in Marseille, designed by star architect Zaha Hadid. The lower third of the façade in particular exhibits a unique dynamic. For the vertical frame alone, 1,172 different geometries were needed, although these are concealed and virtually invisible between the layers of the two-skin façade. DORMA is represented in this apparently dancing tower in Marseille with a total of 600 integrated door closers.

Completed just in time for the 2012 Summer Olympics, The Shard in London features DORMA door closer systems, automatic doors and electromagnetic sliding doors. The tower, located close to London Bridge, measures 310 meters in height, dwarfing all of London’s other skyscrapers. It will provide working space and facilities for over 10,000 people. Bright and transparent with a distinct shape and unmistakable silhouette, The Shard looks like the tip of an iceberg.

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