We are used to hearing news about massive new projects from Dubai. Unfortunately, these projects normally don’t use ceramic building materials. Instead they usually involve concrete, glass and steel. Although there are no brick or tile factories in the United Arab Emirates due to the lack of clay in the country, we have heard that this skyscraper measuring 302 metres with 63 floors will feature something very uncharacteristic in Dubai: the entire façade will be covered with glazed ceramic tile.
The tiles used in the Al Wasl Tower, which is scheduled to open next year, will not simply be for show but will serve a functional purpose: thanks to the tower’s angle of placement and its fin shape, the tiles will provide the necessary shade in the daytime to the immediate vicinity, while filtering natural light into the tower. Each tile will include a light so that at night the entire façade can be programmed to create a light show.
The Al Wasl Tower is hard proof that ceramic building materials also have a place in the largest and most avant-garde buildings, even in a city as alien to ceramics as Dubai.