In 2006, Yas Island was a flat landscape of desert and scrubland surrounded by navigable water, east of Abu Dhabi City and close to the main highway past the existing airport. To the north the views stretched out past low lying islands to the open ocean of the ArabianGulf. However, a spectacular new development is set to change the landscape.
Aldar Properties PJSC is undertaking multi-billion Dirham civic projects to help develop Abu Dhabi, the capital Emirate of the United Arab Emirates, into an international business and tourist destination.
At the centre of the landmark Yas Island mega-scheme in Abu Dhabi, sits the world’s first Ferrari Theme Park. Aldar’s aspiration for Yas Island was to create a uniquely powerful and sophisticated blend of quality environments, attractions and lifestyle sports. Benoy set about developing the ground breaking Yas Island master plan by establishing the contextual relationship between the key leisure components and the Retail Hub that serves as a community destination for the region. Benoy’s Ferrari World to the south, aligns with the master planning of the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 motor racing track.
Externally, Ferrari World expresses the language, values and passion of the Ferrari brand itself. Benoy’s vision to create a building that reflects Ferrari’s sinuous form, is directly inspired by the classic double curve side profile of the Ferrari GT chassis. The double curve was proportionately applied in elevation to set the structure’s length and height. This proportion gave rise to the dynamic scale of the building at 700metres from tip to tip of the tri-forms. Internally, a collection of over 20 high octane attractions provide excitement for the whole family. The focal attraction will be the 60metre high ‘G-Force Tower’ – one of the most intense ‘freefall’ experiences in the world. Two roller coasters continue the adrenalin-raising theme, including the world’s fastest, reaching speeds in excess of 200kph.
Within the overall framework of a design & built commission, MERO has been responsible, not just for the design, the statistical calculations and the constructional development, but also for the manufacture and installation of all the steel structures.
Ferrari World is topped by a giant freeform roof, with an area the size of 28 football pitches. The complete roof structure, with an area of almost 200,000 m², consists of a MERO-KK three-dimensional framework. With a total of nearly 172,000 bars and 43,100 joints, it is thought to be the largest three-dimensional framework which has ever been constructed in the world. On face value the desert landscape may seem fairly benign. This however does not portray the full story: wind, sand, heat, salt and humidity all combine to create a fairly unfriendly environment for most materials. In order to counteract this, all of the 172,000 steel elements that form the three dimensional structure are galvanized for optimum protection.
The entire awe inspiring structure can be divided into three areas: Funnel, Shield and Triforms. Here the so-called Shield is the nucleus – 86,200 m² in area and closed off by facades, with a maximum diameter of 377 m.
The three-dimensional framework described here can be divided into a two-layer roof structure and a three-layer roof truss area. The principal trusses take the form of a three-dimensional framework, and are directly integrated into the 2-layer roof structure. The size of the three-dimensional framework grid was laid out on the basis of the optimal dimensions for the individual components from both an economic and installation point of view. The large-scale grid constructed in this manner, in combination with the predominantly small bar diameters, lends the structure an impressive lightness.
Out of all the many construction projects that have been constructed or are planned in the UAE, Yas Island may prove to be not only one of the most audacious but also the most successful in achieving its ambitions.