Tornado Tower is the perfect example of magnificent imagination and exceptional development. As one of the most noteworthy and striking landmarks of Doha, the Tower has been recognized by the Council of Tall Building and Urban Habitat’s CTBUH Awards as the Best Tall Building Middle East & Africa 2009 Winner. Tornado Tower provides Doha’s city skyline with a contemporary outlook, from its key location in the West Bay area. Thanks to its inimitable design, the instantly recognizable tower lends a powerful setting to the location.
The Tower’s perimeter structure is an integral part of the design expression—exposed tubular structural façade, clad in part with aluminum composite panels. High performance glass and internal sun shading devices ensure that cooling costs are reduced, and architectural detailing promises an airtight building, reducing air leakage to a minimum. In addition, rainwater is recycled and used for irrigation purposes. Fire safety measures include dedicated fire lifts and extra stairs. The use of a steel perimeter structure, rather than the more usual concrete structure predominantly utilized in the region, makes for much more slender structural members, maximizing the uninterrupted panoramic views across the city and beyond.
To construct a relatively lightweight building, an external tubular steel “diagrid” was employed. The diagonal pattern of the skin increases the stiffness of the lateral force-resisting system of the perimeter walls. The concrete core of the building is connected to this perimeter structure with clear spanning steel beams topped with composite slabs creating a flexible, column-free office space at each floor level. All floors are also designed with state of the art, raised flooring systems to maximize flexibility for office space planning.
The Tower was conceived with the name Tornado to signify the allegory to its characteristic and magnified design. The Tower is augmented by an inimitable lighting system, designed especially for the Tower by the most celebrated light artist Thomas Emde. The spinning force of a tornado is exhibited through his kinetic light sculpture, made possible through an extensive movement of light. The programmable lighting system is capable of producing over 35,000 variations of lighting patterns to create a stunning visual effect at night.
The imaginative and entertaining movement of the kinetic light sculpture lends a magnificent dash of energy to the Tower, making it visually as striking after dusk as during daylight hours, and it imprints a vivacious image in the minds of spectators from afar at sea where its light show masquerades the Towers appearance into that of a lighthouse, symbolizing a benign and comforting harbor. The Tower marks its presence in Doha and in Qatar at large as not only a commercial space in the business district of West Bay but also as an incredible piece of imaginative art brought to life.
The adjacent parts of the surrounding area are organized with the provision of car parking, accommodated by the Tower on its multiple basement levels, barring visitor parking at street level. Traffic movements were meticulously assessed to guarantee the infrastructure was capable of accommodating additional vehicular movements, considering the large volume of visits.