• World’s First Ferrari Theme Park Marks Thrilling Brand Experience

    18 May 2010

    At the centre of the landmark Yas Island mega-scheme in Abu Dhabi, sits the world’s first Ferrari Theme Park, a thrilling brand experience and multi-sensory celebration of a design icon. Designed by the team at Benoy, and opening in 2010, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is set to become the world’s largest indoor theme park.

    As you approach the building, its scale deceives, the red roof with glistening silver edging houses a multitude of rides and attractions inside, designed with the direct input of Ferrari S.p.A. The building’s entrance to the north is linked directly to the shopping complex via the Ferrari Gateway Bridge, leading into the Welcome Pavilion, an area dotted with authentic cafés and stylish restaurants.

    Externally this exciting new 700 metre development is a clear expression of Benoy’s vision to capture the language, values and passion of the Ferrari brand itself in a design that reflects Ferrari’s sinuous form, directly inspired by the classic double curve side profile of the Ferrari GT chassis.

    While Ferrari World Abu Dhabi’s location, scale and purpose combine to present enormous architectural challenges, Benoy has delivered a revolutionary design solution, with the end result being an iconic landmark leisure destination that reflects both the excitement and integrity of the Ferrari brand and the ambitions of Abu Dhabi, marking the centerpiece and spiritual heart of the 25 km2 island. With a planned opening later in the year, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is set to become the world’s largest indoor theme park.

    Due to the shape of the island and the position of Ferrari World, the building was conceived as a very simple ‘ground hugging’ form, peeling up from the landscape in flowing lines like a red sand dune. The visually distinctive three pointed star form in addition to a main core enclosed element and three extensive ‘triform’ claws to cradle the outdoor attractions create the 3D nature of the building. Huge elegant roof dips are gathered into the ground to form a huge crystal glazed lit funnel that forms part of the unqiue experience of Benoy’s Ferrari World Abu Dhabi theme park.

    The main façades utilise efficient glass to reduce thermal loads and glare and the spectacular, highly insulated metal skin roof forms a feature of the building that provides a fifth elevation and serves as the perfect backdrop to the huge Ferrari logo that will welcome all passengers flying into Abu Dhabi International Airport.

    Inside the Ferrari World building, a soaring space frame structure covers a huge undulating plaza deck, on which the many themed rides and attractions, designed by Jack Rousse Associates, will be situated. A collection of over 20 high octane attractions provide excitement for the whole family, the focal attraction being the 60 metre high ‘G-Force Tower’ – one of the most intense ‘freefall’ experiences in the world. The adrenalin raising theme is continued with two of the world’s fastest roller coasters, one of which reaches speeds in excess of 200kph.

    Driving along the western arterial road, approaching the building, the southern tri-form peels up and sweeps off into the distance revealing the true extent of the buildings 700 metre long elevation, shimmering in the sunshine from the west.

    At a Glance

    • Total area of 172,000 m2

    • Enclosed footprint of 100,000 m2

    • Net roof area – 153,000 m2

    • Building height – 45 metre

    • Roof edge circumference – 2200 metre

    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 Arabian Gulf. A well engineered canal created a moated edge to the site and to the west further canals ran past mangrove nature reserves inhabited by migratory birds.

    Today, recently constructed roads cross bridges to connect the once flat and featureless landscape into the site and the alignment of a new 10 lane highway links the Island and new airport to the heart of Abu Dhabi City itself.

    The stark beauty of the island’s sandy shores are gently lapped by the azure waters of the south-eastern Arabian Gulf and the surrounding sea presents the opportunity to allow water to penetrate deep into the heart of the Island, creating a real sense of place, a sense of island living.

    Developed by Emirate’s premier real estate development, management and investment companies, Aldar Properties PJSC, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is part of a collection of multi-billion Dirham civic development projects designed to develop Abu Dhabi, the capital Emirate of the United Arab Emirates, into an international business magnet and tourist destination whilst establishing the city as the UAE’s most dynamic forward-thinking real estate market.

    Since launching in 2005, the company has announced projects worth more than $75 billion USD, in a property development portfolio that is diverse in scope and style that is already attracting considerable worldwide interest and inward investment. Sound financial backing, seemingly unlimited resources and a high level of management expertise gives Aldar Properties a key competitive advantage as well as support from Government to undertake the large-scale, market-driven projects which cannot fail to add value to the Emirate’s already booming property industry. Within this framework, Aldar’s aspiration for Yas Island is simple: to create a high quality resort destination of choice for the UAE and the world in the form of a uniquely powerful and sophisticated blend of quality environments, attractions, lifestyle sports, entertainment and events, quality lifestyle and international brands combined with local character and flair. Yas Island represents a key component of Abu Dhabi’s 2030 Vision and will help to significantly raise the profile of leisure and tourism in the region, while asserting Abu Dhabi as a key player on the global leisure stage.

    Benoy’s role in this masterplan is to set about developing the ground breaking Yas Island by establishing contextual relationships between the key leisure components and the retail hub that serves as a community destination for the region. Water and theme parks to the west, stadia and performance arenas to the east, residential parks and community spaces to the north, and Benoy’s Ferrari World Abu Dhabi to the south, all align with the masterplanning of the track facilities to create the world’s most amazing and intensive island destination. Indeed, Benoy’s Concept Masterplan is a creative response to Aldar’s aspirations for the island that include a strong core vision and an overall critical mass of high quality, resort style destinations clustered around the Island’s core elements – Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the Race Track and world class retail.

    Benoy is also responsible for the design of the 300,000 m2 Yas Mall is arranged within a circular plan form orientated to embrace visitors from around the globe. Multiple entrances encourage a focus into the heart of the centre, from the 650 key gateway hotel to the bustling flagship department stores. Featuring more than 700 shops, a world class health centre, female crèche, large ‘kids zone’, multiplex cinema, flexible event spaces, hotel and over 100 luxury residential apartments, the ground breaking three storey super-mall acts as a true focal destination.

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