Named ‘The Pad’, the brand-new 26-story residential building can be found in Business Bay, Dubai. The unique building was designed by the tech-savvy James Law Cybertecture, to look just like an Apple iPod.
The Pad’s chosen design was the result of winning a competition but beat out the others with such as unique and intriguing proposal. The Pad is set to be a form a new kind of architecture which takes on board the technological advances available to ‘allow inhabitants to program their own software for their building’.
The philosophy behind this design has been called ‘cybertecture’. The Pad is the first example of a cybertecture building which combines architecture and technology to form a wide range of living possibilities for the inhabitants. The building was also a result of a desire to fuse technology, software, and architecture to create structures that are more responsive to the needs and desires of people today.
Architecture “used to just be about the concrete, steel, and the glass, and the shape of a building… but now I think we’re living in a world where those materials are just the basic materials,” James Law said. “There are now new materials like technology, smart material, bytes of content, and interactivity.”
A range of materials was also used on the project. “Some bricks are the old clay bricks and the concrete bricks, and then there are the new bricks, which are technology, the new bricks of new ideas, new strategies, new forms, new models, new typologies,” Law explained.
The Pad’s structure is inclined at 6.5 degrees, designed as a leaning tower which directly references the look of an iPod when it is charging in a dock. Once inside the modern building, you’d see interiors are built in with a range of technologies such as biometric locks, mood lighting, voice control and high-tech mirrors which can monitor your health. Law also believes that in the future ‘residents will be able to add features to their apartments in the way one downloads apps from the App Store’.
Interestingly, the lighting in the building can be customised to mirror the moods of residents, for example, the lights can shift colour if someone rings the doorbell, calls the phone, or a favourite television program is about to start. The Pad also has an intriguing new feature called iReality, a virtual reality projection that can be linked with views 62 different world destinations. The wall can also be used to video chat with friends and family.
“Architecture is no longer just this piece of concrete that sits there,” said Law. “We’re all living a life where we’ve been tuned to interacting with the environment, interacting through the internet.”
The Pad features 256 apartments ranging from studio apartments, 1-bedroom apartments, 1-bedroom duplexes, all of which overlook the picturesque Dubai canal. Construction for the residential building began in 2007 but was suspended during the economic tsunami of 2009. The Pad’s construction was restarted in 2013, and due for completion in 2018.