There's more to our modern structures than meets the eye...

Behind some of the world’s most complex buildings there are feats of engineering that are often hidden from view. This animation series aims to explore and bring to life these marvels of modern engineering. Discover how WSP’s engineers designed the world’s longest occupied building cantilever for One Za’abeel in Dubai, and on Newfoundland in London – how we designed this landmark residential tower on a tightly-constrained site directly above a busy underground rail line.

One Za'abeel, Dubai

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One Za'abeel, Dubai

Dubai’s latest landmark, One Za'abeel, two mixed-use towers standing either side of a live highway will be linked by a 230m skybridge - the world’s longest occupied building cantilever.

To counter the effects of twist and vertical deflection, we’ve designed the skybridge using a diagrid tube structure, which also enables column-free space.

Rising up from three levels of retail podium, and seven levels of basement, the towers will offer premium hotel, residential accommodation and office space. 

The sub-structure of this awe-inspiring development is worthy of note, with the diaphragm walls of the basement designed to carry the load of the elevated highway that bisects the plot, including soil and 26m of water pressure.

Key Facts

Cantilever length (M)
70 70
Skybridge length (m)
230 230
Skybridge weight (tonnes)
8,000 8,000

Newfoundland, London

In response to the challenge of designing a landmark residential tower on a tightly-constrained site directly above a busy underground rail line, we designed an innovative building with a slender concrete-core and steel diagrid frame.

The diagrid structure, together with a thick basement raft, transfers load over the railway tunnels and provides stability. Large diameter bored piles form the foundations of the building extending 50 meters deep.

The geometry of the building required us to restrain ‘kicking forces’ created at the building’s corners by using a composite floor system of steel beams and precast concrete slabs with an in situ concrete topping.

Key Facts

10% 10%
60 60
height (m)
220 220
00:00 - 00:00
Newfoundland, London