The new 200 m landmark tower in Doha, Qatar, changes the skyline of this desert metropolis. The extravagant construction consists of a rhombic steel structure with floor-to-ceiling glazing and a column-free interior. The solar control glazing ipasol (special type) protects the interior from the torrid sun.
In co-operation with the Munich-based architects, SIAT Architekten und Ingenieure GmbH, an office tower was created that replicates nature – the Tornado Tower in Doha’s high-rise quarter, Westbay. The clear lines of the trapezoidal glazed facade give the tower its extraordinary appeal. The corset-like, rhombic steel frame and the floor-to-ceiling, slightly bluish glazing give the tower its distinctive appearance.
The bearing elements are the outer steel construction and a tubular core of reinforced concrete in the centre of the tower. Both are connected by way of top panels that are made of reinforced concrete and in spite of their low weight, they are capable of bearing heavy loads, thereby making columns in the interior unnecessary. This design provides for maximum usable interior space of up to 2,000 square metres, depending on the storey. Most of the 50 storeys are housing offices, but there are also several restaurants, a cafe, and a fitness centre at the mid-level, as well as smaller shops on the ground floor.
A special solar control glazing protects from the intensive solar radiation. The ipasol special type is slightly bluish and gives the tower its characteristic colour. As a special request from the building owner, this "special glazing” features an extremely low solar factor (g-value = 24 %) and effective thermal insulation (Ug = 1.1 W/m2K) at a light transmittance of 38 %. For the entrance façade, ipasol neutral 70/39 was used, which features high light transmittance (tL = 66 %), low total energy transmittance g-value = 38 %), and high colour neutrality (Ra,D = 92). The floor-to-ceiling glazing allows plenty of daylight to enter into the building. The glass parapet, the tower’s "crown”, is made of laminated sheet glass. Even at night-time, the monumental building cannot be missed. The lights on the points of the intersection of the rhombic steel framework can be individually controlled and they illuminate the dynamic shape of the building in 35,000 different colour combinations. Therefore, the "Tornado Tower” is a visible landmark of the desert state by day and at night.