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[highlight1]  Infinity – Cayan Tower : The world’s tallest twisting tower  [/highlight1]

Infinity – Cayan Tower, the 80-storey residential tower that spirals in a smooth curve by an astonishing 90 degrees to give every apartment a stunning view of the sea or marina. Infinity Cayan’s dynamic twisting shape challenges conventional architecture and redefines standards of luxury. This extraordinary design will make Infinity a classic of 21st century architecture, a tribute to the power of design and the role it can play in our lives.

Infinity-Cayan-Tower-By-SOM-Skidmore-Owings-Merrill-05-Tim-Griffith-450x599 Infinity - Cayan Tower / SOM - Skidmore Owings & Merrill© Tim Griffith

Every Infinity apartment enjoys contemporary internationally styled interiors, marble and wood finishes, and premium fixtures and fittings. Every apartment has fully fitted kitchens with appliances and bedrooms with built-in wardrobes, as well as highspeed Internet facility and access to digital/satellite TV, state-of-the-art air conditioning, and a comprehensive automation system to control lights, air-conditioning and other functions from a central handset. The building has 6 elevators for convenient access to each floor.

Infinity-Cayan-Tower-By-SOM-Skidmore-Owings-Merrill-07-Tim-Griffith-450x518 Infinity - Cayan Tower / SOM - Skidmore Owings & Merrill© Tim Griffith

  • “The intelligent helical design of the Cayan Tower responds to very specific and challenging local conditions, whilst providing a visually striking new landmark for the Dubai skyline,” said juror Sir Terry Farrell, Principal, Farrells. “This building expresses its structure through its form in an elegant and sophisticated way, enhancing the architecture of the existing waterfront site.” – CTBUH Awards

Infinity-Cayan-Tower-By-SOM-Skidmore-Owings-Merrill-14-Tim-Griffith-450x257 Infinity - Cayan Tower / SOM - Skidmore Owings & Merrill© Tim Griffith


One of Palma Holding’s iconic projects, the tower was originally known as the “Infinity Tower”. The project has gained worldwide recognition as one of Dubai’s landmark buildings. From concept and design layouts to the interior finishing, the team at Palma spent endless hours of engineering sessions before finalising the structure with SOM, the famous architects behind Burj Khalifa and Freedom Tower. The units are special in its spacious rooms, big court yards with lots of sunlight that will enhance the feeling of space and freedom inside the unit.

Infinity-Cayan-Tower-By-SOM-Skidmore-Owings-Merrill-18-Cayan-Group-450x304 Infinity - Cayan Tower / SOM - Skidmore Owings & Merrill© Cayan Group


Dubai Infinity – Cayan Tower is located in the Dubai Marina, a city-within-a city and possibly the world’s most exclusive waterfront development, where a stylish, sophisticated lifestyle has been created to delight its residents. The building’s unique spiral design means that every apartment will have a view of the sea and marina in a truly unique setting. The Marina is ideally located for easy access to the Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai International Airport, Dubai Internet City and Dubai Media City, and some of Dubai’s finest five-star hotels.

Infinity-Cayan-Tower-By-SOM-Skidmore-Owings-Merrill-25-Cayan-Group-450x299 Infinity - Cayan Tower / SOM - Skidmore Owings & Merrill© Cayan Group

Design Outstanding Features:

  • In creating Infinity, Cayan has realised its unique vision of a building that not only meets the practical needs of its occupants but transcends them, to create a work of art. With its motto, ‘Nothing is impossible’, Cayan pushed far beyond the conventional, to create an architectural masterpiece.
  • With its 80 stories rising into the blue skies, Infinity’s dynamic twisting shape challenges conventional architecture and redefines standards of luxury. Infinity is a truly unique architectural vision, certain to take its place as an icon not only in Dubai but in the world.
  • At 330 metres in height, Infinity is the highest twisting tower in the world. But this is just one of the features that makes Infinity so extraordinary.
  • The twisting shape of the building gives Infinity an organic shape and aesthetic elegance that is particularly appropriate for its location at the meeting point of land and sea.
  • Pre-finished metal panels on cast-in-place concrete perimeter columns along with repetitive staggered screen panels filter the direct sunlight to the units. An inboard glass line creates a deep sill to minimize direct light and provide a screen effect, shading both glass and terraces.

Infinity-Cayan-Tower-By-SOM-Skidmore-Owings-Merrill-33-Tony-Safarik-450x337 Infinity - Cayan Tower / SOM - Skidmore Owings & Merrill© Tony Safarik

Engineering Outstanding Features:

  • Infinity’s slender elegance conceals great strength: the tower’s structural system is a high strength, reinforced concrete column superstructure that rotates with the twisting shape to create a helix.
  • The shape and size of these columns is determined by wind tunnel testing and innovative engineering using 3D computer modeling analysis. At all times, in creating such a unique and radical architectural project, safety and stability has been the architects’ primary concern, both in design and in the quality of materials and construction. Every stage of the Infinity project has harnessed the skills and experience of world-class professionals in every field.
  • The tower is home to 450 unique units, reached by 6 elevators. One, two and three bedroom apartments have varying views of the Marina, sea and The Palm. Four bedroom units boast panoramic views of both the sea and the Marina. Two-storey duplex apartments are also available, boasting double height living rooms. Luxurious half floor and full floor penthouses lie on the top floors.

Infinity-Cayan-Tower-By-SOM-Skidmore-Owings-Merrill-35-Cayan-Group-450x677 Infinity - Cayan Tower / SOM - Skidmore Owings & Merrill© Cayan Group

Structural Outstanding Features:

  • Infinity Tower has large floor plates, which actually requires the structure to be twisted as it rises from level to level in combination with a vertical and central core structure. Each of the 80 floors of this residential apartment development is rotated to achieve a 90 degrees spiral, creating the shape of a helix and revealing a structure that helps shield its interior from the sun. The actual rotation is 1.2 degrees per floor and is based on the total height above ground floor, to achieve the total rotation of 89.51 degrees.
  • Amazingly, there is not a single vertical structural pillar anywhere in the building. These pillars form the main part of the twisted structure, while it is combined and supported with a central and vertical service core structural element.
  • Achieving the rotation of the floor plan and the twisting of heavily reinforced columns was one of the major challenges faced during the construction of the Infinity Tower. Precise surveying methodologies at each and every stage of execution were required to achieve the design parameters while still achieving a concreting cycle of fourdays per floor.

Infinity-Cayan-Tower-By-SOM-Skidmore-Owings-Merrill-construction-process-05-SOM-450x257 Infinity - Cayan Tower / SOM - Skidmore Owings & Merrillconstruction process 05 – © SOM – Skidmore Owings & Merrill

SOM – Skidmore Owings & Merrill:

A helical skyscraper that makes a distinct mark on the Dubai skyline, Cayan Tower is at once remarkable and subtle. The residential tower is a pure expression of the idea that a building’s form should directly follow its structural framework.

While the skyscraper’s 73 floorplates are all identical, each is slightly rotated against the story below it, resulting in a full 90-degree twist over the course of the tower’s 307-meter rise. The benefits of this unique form, besides the aesthetic ones, are manifold. Wind load and solar heat gain are reduced compared to a rectilinear building of the same height, and a greater number of tenants are afforded desirable views of the nearby marina and gulf.

Infinity-Cayan-Tower-By-SOM-Skidmore-Owings-Merrill-39-Cayan-Group-450x298 Infinity - Cayan Tower / SOM - Skidmore Owings & Merrill© Cayan Group

  • Deep concrete exterior columns clad in a metal skin with perforated screens help shield the building’s interior from the intense desert sun. The tower’s innovative shape required equally innovative engineering. The corner and interior columns twist as they ascend, but most of the perimeter columns have an identical shape and tilted relationship to the floor plate. They are simply shifted, a bit more than a single degree, from floor to floor — resulting in a standardized construction method typical to most concrete structures. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems are located in the core or within a zone between the central circulation corridor and the residential units, allowing straight vertical paths for these systems as the relationship between the apartments served varies between floors. The shape of the tower is not only aesthetically unique but it serves a structural function as well. Its twisted shape greatly reduces wind forces on the tower and “confuses the wind” in a way that wind forces cannot organize themselves.

Infinity-Cayan-Tower-By-SOM-Skidmore-Owings-Merrill-42-SOM-450x257 Infinity - Cayan Tower / SOM - Skidmore Owings & Merrill© SOM – Skidmore Owings & Merrill

[highlight1]  Project Data  [/highlight1]

Project name: Infinity – Cayan Tower
Location: Plot 10B, Dubai Marina, United Arab Emirates
Coordinates: 25.086836, 55.145233
Type: Condominium, Skyscraper
Building Height: 306 m (1,005 ft)
Number of Stories: 75
Unit: 497 condominium apartment units
Use: Residential
Project Area: 111,000 sqm (1,194,794 sq.ft) sqm
Site Area: 3,026.50 sqm
Structural Material: Concrete
Project Year: 2005-2013
Construction Year: 2006-2013
Status: Completed
Project Value: 1,000,000,000 AED
Completion Year: June 2013

  • 2014 – The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) Awards – Middle East & Africa regional – Winner
  • 2014 – International Property Awards – Architecture Multiple Residence
  • 2014 – Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award – American Architecture Award
  • 2014 – Architizer A+ Awards – Typology Categories – Residential High Rise (16+ Floors) – Popular Choice Winner
  • 2013 – Architizer A+ Awards – Typology Categories – Residential High Rise (16+ Floors) – Finalist
  • 2011 – Architect Magazine Awards – R+D Awards

Visit Infinity – Cayan Tower’s website: here

[highlight1]  The people  [/highlight1]

Client / Owner / Developer: Cayan Property Developments
Architects: SOM – Skidmore Owings & Merrill – Seattle, Washington DC, United States
Architect of Record: Khatib & Alami
Structural Engineer: Skidmore Owings & Merrill (design); Khatib & Alami (engineer of record)
MEP Engineer: Skidmore Owings & Merrill
Project Manager: Currie & Brown
Main Contractor: Arabtec

  • Wind: Alan G. Davenport Wind Engineering Group BLWTL
  • Acoustics: Cerami Associates, Shen Milsom Wilke, Inc.
  • Lighting: Fisher Marantz Stone
  • Vertical transportation: Lerch Bates, Opening Solutions, Inc., an Deusen & Associates
  • Fire: Rolf Jensen & Associates
  • Security: Sako & Associates, Inc.
  • Landscape: SWA Group
  • Elevator: KONE

Text Description: © Courtesy of SOM – Skidmore Owings & Merrill, palma holding, Arabtec
Images: © Tim Griffith, SOM – Skidmore Owings & Merrill, Cayan Group, Tony Safarik

[highlight1]  Video  [/highlight1]
[highlight1]  Location Map  [/highlight1]

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