EMARR Skyview – The Design and Construction Challenges of Linking Two Towers with a Bridge
EMARR Skyview is a project currently under construction in Dubai, topping out structurally at the end of 2017, scheduled to open next year. Located in the Downtown Dubai district, it consists of two towers connected close to their top by a bridge structure. Located close to the Burj Khalifa, the program of the towers consists of providing residential / hotel usage with views of Burj Khalifa, with the connecting bridge serving as an event space / infinity pool from which to view the world’s tallest building. Tower 1 is 58 stories tall and houses serviced apartments; Tower 2 is 54 stories tall and houses serviced apartments and an hotel. The towers are linked together at Level 48 by a multi-story bridge structure, spanning approximately 90m. Images of the project can be found at the following link: https://www.emaar.com/en/what-we-do/communities/uae/downtown-dubai/the-address-residence-sky-view.aspx
The structural systems for the towers consist of reinforced concrete shear walls and columns with PT slabs. Offset cores are utilized so as to maximize the units facing Burj Khalifa; the lateral system utilizes these cores along with extended shear walls to balance their eccentricity. Each tower extends above / through the bridge levels, making it very difficult to separate the bridge structure from the tower structure, as has been done on other similar projects. Instead, the structural steel bridge structure is rigidly connected to the core wall structure in each tower, creating in essence a giant portal frame. This not only has the benefit of eliminating the complications associated with jointing the bridge, but it also allows the towers to participate together to resist lateral loads.
This presentation will focus on the design and construction challenges associated with creating a rigidly connected bridge. From the design perspective this relates to managing quantities while considering the complex analyses and loading situations arising from linking the towers together, including differential shortening, foundation settlements, unequal wind and seismic loading, and thermal effects. From the construction perspective this relates to the challenge of erecting a 90m spanning bridge over 200m in the sky. The bridge was erected on the ground and lifted into place in three sections using strand jacking techniques.