Nakheel dumps Tulip for monorail-friendly design

Flower tower is no more as design issues force Nakheel to seek new concept

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By  Sean Cronin Published  May 6, 2006

Nakheel has ditched the Tulip design of the Trump International Hotel & Tower after it emerged that its awkward shape would make the job of cleaning its windows an almost impossible task. But that was only one of the issues with the controversial building that convinced Nakheel to abandon it, in favour of an Atkins design that was unveiled this week. Retaining the so-called Tulip would have required cutting a giant hole through the base of the building to allow the Palm monorail, which runs along the trunk of Palm Jumeirah, to pass through it. There were also concerns over whether the design of the structure could meet seismic codes — as each of the petal-shaped elevations were structurally independent of each other and around 15m wide. With so many question marks hanging over the focal point of the island, and with just months away from the handover of the first properties, Nakheel called in Atkins last November, to draw up a new design for the tower. “The original design would have been very difficult to make work because every single room in the building was a different shape, because of the different ways it curved, in both plan and elevation,” said a source close to the project. Within three months, Atkins had produced its alternative to the Tulip. The new building is a conventional concrete structure, unlike the exo-skeletan design of its predecessor. Donald Trump Junior told Construction Week: “It wasn’t very buildable; there were too many things cantilevered, and it wasn’t very efficient from a net to gross perspective.” The new tower will be a 48-storey mixed-use condo hotel and residence. Construction will commence in late 2006, with sales launching in 2007. It is expected that the property will be completed in 2009.

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