One Za’abeel completes record-breaking cantilever lift

The Link is a panoramic sky concourse that connects the two towers of One Za’abeel.
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Japanese architectural, engineering, and urban design firm Nikken Sekkei has confirmed that the world’s longest cantilevered building, The Link, which connects the towers of the One Za’abeel mixed-use development in Dubai, has been lifted into place.

The company, which began work on the project in 2014 as lead consultancy, was responsible for the concept and design of the two-tower structure and the unique cantilever design that connects both towers.

Dr. Fadi Jabri, Nikken’s executive officer, principal responsible for MENA, CIS, India, Australia, and Europe regions, said: “Designing the world’s longest-occupied cantilevered building was an ambitious challenge in itself. However, designing an offset cantilever between two towers, 100 meters above a busy highway, was a challenge of ingenuity and imagination none of us had ever faced before.”

“The lifting process was incredible. The initial lift on Aug. 18 was a mere 10 cm to check for cable stretching and the building’s reaction to the strain ... A further 1 meter lift took place a week later, followed by the main event, three days later — the final 100 meter lift into place,” added Jabri.

The skyscraper building is a mixed-use two-tower project overlooking a total built-up area of over 470,000 square meters. Located at the heart of the city and at the gate of the Dubai International Financial Centre, the development incorporates luxury residences, a One & Only ultra-luxury hotel and serviced apartments, and premium, Grade A office spaces, a retail podium, and a panoramic sky concourse.

The Link, which will float 100 meters above the ground, is a panoramic sky concourse that connects the two towers of One Za’abeel. The structure will house a choice of attractions, including Michelin-starred restaurants, observation decks, and an infinity pool.

A team of architects and engineers from Nikken formed the core team for all design features, which subsequently grew to a multinational team of more than 1,200 experts from a variety of disciplines.

“The concept for the design was to express Dubai’s pioneering spirit and its warm welcome based on family values in the form of two graceful ‘father and son’ towers with a ‘strong bond’ — The Link — 100 meters above a major highway forming the gateway. A gently sloping podium represents a welcoming gesture, and the bold expression of The Link represents the pioneering spirit of Dubai,” said Jabri.