News

Future is here

Future is here

Earlier this year we have started to work on one of the most interesting new projects in Dubai. It is designed by Killa Design and located at the prominent location of the corner of Emirates Towers: The Museum of Future. The building will showcase high-end new technology of the foreseeable future and provide inspiration for forming the not-yet-foreseeable future. Naturally, the building envelope will also use latest technology both in methodology and materials. Koltay Facades was invited to the project by the main contractor, during tendering phase to provide technical solutions and support. The selected solution is based on insulated plastic composite panels, faced with stainless steel sheets. The image on the right shows the site just two weeks ago. As a first step, panelization strategy has to be worked out and finalized. We expect large , 9 meter tall prefabricated double curved vacuum formed units to be manufactured. While each panel will be unique in geometry, the advancement of computer modelling technologies merging into fabrication methods, and the accessibility of laser scanning quality control methods enable the procurement of truly unique geometries. The windows of the building form calligraphic scripts, written by H.H.Sheikh Mohammed, and will be illuminated at night.

The Address Boulevard Hotel

The Address Boulevard Hotel

The Address Boulevard Hotel opens soon!! There are less and less construction workers on site and more and more hotel operators. The building stands an impressive 370 meters tall, houses hotel rooms and serviced apartments, as well as restaurants and wellness facilities. We have started our scope in schematic stage of the design, at the end of 2012. Alico has been appointed for the facade package contract in August 2013, based on our tender drawings and specifications. After an intense construction period, we have been completing the last inspections on site. The cladding on the roof feature and the BMU rails were installed by last December.

There were a long list of people from Koltay Facades, who contributed to the success of this project. April Soh was our project manager until she left to manage Singapore office, when Shadwa Zaki, who was on board from the beginnings, took over. They were strengthened by our facade engineers and facade designers, as well as our BMU engineers, to document and later review and check all aspects of this robust project. We worked closely with the lead consultants, Norr, and this since led to many other projects that we work on in cooperation. All parties, including Turner, Multiplex, Alico, GGI, Cox, and of course, Emaar, worked for the benefit of the project and the progress was impressive. We are proud to be part of this project and cannot wait for the public opening!

The project also includes the world’s largest revolving door, 6 meters tall at 4.5 meters diameter, with a 4.5 meter tall rotating door and a 1.5 meters clear drum above. The door was custom designed specifically for this project, and product tested in Germany with the manufacturer, Blazi. We now have similar large doors in upcoming projects, such as Fountain Views or Museum of Future, but Address door is still the first.

Pictures: Left: Shadwa taking a photo-break on her roof feature cladding and BMU inspection visit, Center: The Address Boulevard Hotel, Right: Agnes and Shadwa at the hotel entrance

Let’s play as it was 2017

Let’s play as it was 2017

Little secret here: we do not work too hard on the last day of the year. Instead… we play board games… Not that facade details and mullion calculations are not fun, but well, there are some other types of fun too. The tradition has started as our downtown office location makes it impossible to work a full day on 31st of Dec, as road closures start from 3 pm due to the fireworks later at midnight. And since we need to leave early anyways, better to just meet for a good game. This year it was slightly different, as 31st fall on Saturday, but for popular demand, we had games on Thursday afternoon :) We play modern board games, this year we played the cooperative game Pandemic – Reign of Cthulhu, and the strategic, construction themed board game Quadropolis. Last year’s favorites were Codenames and the cooperative Zombicide, that can be played by up to 12 players per board. And yes, it is about killing zombies…

Happy happy new year to all of you. May 2017 bring successful projects to all.

board games
more board games

Celebration time

Celebration time

Again it is the end of a year, an eventful, exciting year. We met many great people this year, colleagues, business connections, suppliers, clients. We are grateful to all, who contributed to a successful year, with many ongoing and just-starting projects, landmarks of Dubai and international icon projects. But most of all, maintaining our good reputation would not be possible without the wonderful team that we have: engineering and architectural background people, with passion to facades, interest in new technologies, willingness to deliver the most optimal solution for each project, meeting client needs and pushing the limits.

We have celebrated the end of this year together, Dubai style, on board an 84″ yacht. We also had our “special guests” with us: staff from London and Singapore teams (well, not only for the party, but for internal training and coordination too). Was a blast!

xmas

Media specials

Media specials

Guess, who made it to the national media! Yes, our hard core Pub Quiz Team (Chris and Guillermo) are on the photo. Finally an article featuring facade engineers, but not discussing “ACP cladding fire” or “new trends in glass industry”. Read the Gulf News article with awesome photo here.

The National featured two articles on The Opus on 17th December:
Honoring Zaha Hadid and also Engineering Challenge

We have also made it into international media, not as mainstream, but more specialized: Intelligent Glass Magazine invited us to publish an 8 full pages technical article about The Opus facade development. It is unfortunately not available online.

And we have also been interviewed by Middle East Construction Magazine, mostly on the usual issues of fire safety and glass trends and so on.

This last article does not mention us, but explains about our Jumeriah Gate project that will dominate the JBR Beachfront soon. We are involved from early schematic stage and will see the project through handover for facade engineering and BMU strategy consultancy. Read about Jumeirah Gate here.

World of Facades

World of Facades

Reporting from Singapore, we have participated the ZAK World of Facades conference! Agnes and April spoke about our current work, including the challenges of designing and realizing the fluid void glazed facade of Zaha Hadid’s The Opus project. By the way, an article is on the way as well, published in the upcoming edition of Intelligent Glass Solutions magazine, giving a more detailed explanation of some of the engineering considerations of The Opus glazing.
kf speaks at zak facades

Uni students visit

Uni students visit

At KF, we contribute to university programmes several times a year. This time, a group of engineering students from Munich, Germany has visited us, and we explained them about high-rise building facade construction methods. We ended the day by visiting two of our under construction projects. We are lucky to work with very accommodating contractors, who did not mind showing around a group of 25 students and their professors.

Construction sites

Construction sites

This will be a photo post, to give an update on some of the nice big projects we are working on.

The headline image shows recent street shots of Burj Vista, Sky View, The Address Boulevard Hotel, and Fountainviews, from left to right.

The next image was taken in July 2016, from the public observation deck of Burj Khalifa. My sister visited me and after we had enough fun with selfies… I took some pictures of our projects from above! Again, from left to right: Burj Vista, Sky Views, The Address Boulevard Hotel.

kf projects from burj

This next collage has some images taken at a recent Burj Vista site inspection. The inclined glazed facade is progressing now on both towers, surely an interesting feature to all apartments facing the boulevard.
burj vista site

And of course here is The Opus, with more and more of the freeform void glazing installed. This facade area is clad by a selection of flat, single curved, hot double bent and cold bent glazing. While a number of the hot double bent glazing is sagged into a mold and therefore annealed, some double bent pieces are heat tempered. The glass selection and facade development of this project was a long and interesting process of constant research at the limits of industry capabilities. We have recently written a technical article about it that will be published in Intelligent Glass Magazine and will also speak about it on upcoming conferences, such as on 18th September Dubai, 20th September in Dusseldorf and 18th October in Singapore.

opus facade update
opus facade update 2

Note: Koltay Facades act on these projects as Facade Engineering and BMU Strategy Consultant. We are involved from schematic stage to handover. We do not manufacture or install.

Dubai Opera has opened! We had limited involvement on this project – Design Stage Technical Peer Reviews and Tendering only- but it is enough to feel connected and happy to see it completed!
The first image here was taken in November 2014, and the second one just a week before handover, in late August 2016.

dubai opera

In other news… Life in the office is good, we are still doing well on pub quizzes at neighborhood pubs on Mondays. We arranged boardgame nights in the big meeting room. Manuel has celebrated his birthday, which coincides with his job anniversary… We had serious network and system upgrades to enable good communication and information sharing with April’s team and Singapore and Geoff in London.

All the best until our next update.
Agnes

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