- Al Wasl Plaza is a mixed-use building under construction in Expo 2020 Distrct, Dubai South, Dubai.
- The estimated handover date is 2020.
- The project is being developed by Dubai Holding.
- The design contract was awarded to Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture LLP.
Al Wasl Plaza sits at the centre of the Expo 2020 Dubai site and is the focal point for the celebrations over the six months from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021. The name Al Wasl means ‘connection’ in Arabic.
The Plaza is encircled by a huge trellised dome to form a grand ‘urban room’; a meeting place and performance space.
The individual elements of the dome’s steel trellising were made in Italy and arrived in Dubai in July 2018. The crown was carefully assembled at ground level over a period of 14 months before being raised into place in September 2019. Once in position the final piece of Al Wasl dome, ‘the crown', was welded to the rest of the trellis.
The dome’s steel crown encloses a space of 724,000 cubic metres. It stands 67.5 metres tall and has a diameter of 130 metres. The domed steel trellis is made up of 1,162 individual curved steel sections and has a canopy of stretched fabric for shading. The grand trellis includes integrated lighting and projection systems for events, and will form a 360-degree projection surface, with projections visible inside and outside the dome.
The 550-tonne moulded steel crown had to be precisely positioned on top of the vertical trellis, with a margin of error of only three millimetres. It was completed using a technique called strand-jacking. Eighteen hydraulic jacks, aided by steel lifting ropes connected to 18 freestanding temporary columns, were used to slowly raise the curved steel crown.
It was positioned directly on top of the trellis already in place 45 metres above the ground, and attached using 53 temporary connection brackets. 800 engineers and construction technicians monitored every millimetre of the process, using GPS indicators to ensure perfect alignment.
To retain the geometry of the trellis structure as it was lifted, a series of tension cables was installed, connecting the perimeter of the trellis crown to a central temporary compression ring. Multiple test lifts were conducted to measure the movement of the structure as it was lifted off the ground. The tensioned cables were adjusted until the trellis perimeter connection points were in the positions required for the full lift to commence.
Al Wasl Plaza in the News
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