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Lusail Towers in Qatar: How renowned architect Norman Foster 'reinvented the high-rise building'

20:48, March 1

Lord Norman Foster, known as one of the world's foremost architects, has spent decades redefining the concept of high-rise buildings. His portfolio includes iconic buildings such as London's 30 St. Mary Axe—better known to Londoners as The Gherkin—and the HSBC building in Hong Kong. Now he has his sights set on Qatar, CNN reports.

Currently, the construction of buildings with a height of 301 meters is nearing completion. Foster's Lusail Towers is poised to claim the title of Qatar's tallest building, surpassing the current record holder, The Torch Doha.

The construction of these towers is part of a 1.1-million-square-meter project conceived by Foster + Partners and is a key component of the larger master plan for the city of Lusail, located 16 kilometers north of the capital Doha.

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The towers consist of four separate blocks: two of 70 floors and two of 50 floors. Each tower is intended to serve as a hub for Qatari financial institutions.

“As an architect, I design cities that are in their infancy,” Foster said. “We have created a new area that creates infrastructure for future generations.”

To overcome the unique challenges posed by Qatar's hot climate, Foster's team had to move away from materials typically used in skyscrapers in cooler countries—part of what Foster called a years-long quest to "reinvent the high-rise building."

“Given the local climate and the sustainability issue ... you really want to protect yourself from solar radiation,” he added.

The design features advanced shading and ventilation systems, and the towers' exterior surfaces are clad in "marine-grade" aluminum that surrounds the buildings, protecting the glass from harsh sunlight while preserving views and letting in natural light.

Central to the design are special gill-like shading “fins” that not only optimize views and natural light for passengers, but also reduce solar radiation by 70% compared to traditional all-glass towers.


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