The Marina Torch

Last updated on 16 September 2017

The Marina Torch, also known as Dubai Torch, Dubai Torch Tower,[3] and The Torch,[4] is a residential skyscraper in Dubai Marina in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The tower is 336.8 metres (1,105 ft) tall, with 79 floors above ground. It became the tallest residential building in the world in 2011, surpassing Q1 in Gold Coast, Australia. It lost the record in 2012 to Dubai's Elite Residence.

The Marina Torch was damaged by fire on 21 February 2015 and again on 4 August 2017, while it was undergoing restorative work.

Marina Torch, Dubai.jpg
Marina Torch, Dubai.jpg

History

The original concept design by architects Khatib & Alami was 74 floors, with three basement levels and a four-storey podium, and had a total planned built up area of 111,832 m² (1.2 million ft²). It was to have 504 apartments ranging from one to three bedrooms and four duplex apartment suites. The three basement floors and part of the podium were to hold car parking for 536 vehicles, while floors five and six were to contain a swimming pool, health club, gymnasium, cafeteria, aerobic rooms and sit-out cover seal terraces.[4]

However, the original developer of the project for the proposed tower, Al Rashideen Trading Company, transferred ownership of the project to a new developer, Select Group. Select Group then appointed a new consultant, National Engineering Bureau, who amended and modified the concept design and, following delays, eventually secured the necessary approval from Dubai Municipality.

Dubai Municipality's approval of the design was delayed because of its comments on the National Engineering Bureau's modifications to the concept design, and the purported risk of structural failings arising from the design modifications.[5]

In April 2007, the project was running 18 months behind schedule, with the tower's foundations still under construction. The original expected completion date of June 2008 had been extended to late 2009, with the further extension into 2011.[2] The Marina Torch was opened in May 2011.

As built, it has 676 apartments and six retail units.[6] In 2015 the price of a one bedroom apartment started at 1,628,000 AED ($443,295 USD).[7]

There are many residential towers in this part of Dubai and they are popular with expatriates.[8]

2015 fire

A fire broke out in the building at 2:00 am on 21 February 2015.[9] Witnesses said the fire started with a grill located on one of the building's balconies.[10] Seven people were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.[11] Video footage showed structural debris falling from the burning stories to the ground.[12] The fire appeared to have started in the middle of the building and spread rapidly due to falling flaming debris and high winds, which caused the flames to flare up, resulting in "massive problems" for the fire department and a several mile long traffic jam on a nearby highway.[13][14]

External cladding was charred from the 50th floor to the top of the tower.[8] As of 28 February 101 apartments were uninhabitable and their occupants were offered temporary free lodging by some hotels and houses.[15] Dubai Municipality confirmed there was no damage to the structure. Lifts were brought back in phases and eight of the nine lifts were back in operation within a week.[16] By 21 March 2015, 81 units were still not habitable. The remainder of the 676 apartments were back in occupation.

Tenants requesting emergency accommodation were found free hotel accommodation for up to two months. All resident owners are covered by insurance for alternative accommodation for up to three years. In April, after insurance assessment, tenders were drawn up for repair of the damaged building.[17]

Repairs were started in May 2015 under the project management of the building's architect, National Engineering Bureau.[16]

Following this disaster, in the fall of 2015 Dubai Civil Defence announced it would be purchasing several Martin Jetpack single-person aircraft to assist first responders in managing high-rise fires, to be delivered in 2016.[18]

2016 exterior renovation

Approval to proceed on a full exterior renovation of the cladding damaged during the fire in terms of building permits was granted by Dubai authorities in July 2016. Scaffolding was erected and building works started.

During this period the pool facility at the Torch remained closed, mainly due to the risk of safety issues. It was estimated to re-open in October 2016.

2017 fire

A significant fire broke out in the building on 4 August 2017 at about 1 am local time; the cause was not initially known.[19] Videos showed debris from the fire falling to the ground and starting a second fire in the streets below.[20] Civil defence officials said they had successfully evacuated the building, with no injuries reported, and had brought the fire under control.[21]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "The Torch - The Skyscraper Center". Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.
  2. ^ a b "The Torch, Dubai". Retrieved 2009-09-25.
  3. ^ News, A. B. C. (21 February 2015). "Fire Ravages One of the World's Tallest Apartment Towers". ABC News. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  4. ^ a b "The Torch Tower". Retrieved 2009-09-25.
  5. ^ Sell, Christopher. "Torch Tower sets record in face of permit delays - ConstructionWeekOnline.com". www.constructionweekonline.com. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  6. ^ "The Torch". Select Group UAE. n.d. Retrieved 2015-02-21.
  7. ^ "One bed apartments, The Torch". Select Property. n.d. Retrieved 2015-02-21.
  8. ^ a b "Thousands evacuated after fire engulfs Dubai tower". Al Jazeera. 21 February 2015. Retrieved 2015-02-21.
  9. ^ "Fire rips through Torch skyscraper in Dubai". BBC. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  10. ^ "Winds fan flames as fire races up Dubai high-rise". USA Today. 21 February 2015. Retrieved 2015-02-21.
  11. ^ "Huge blaze guts 79-floor Dubai skyscraper". Yahoo! News. 21 February 2015. "About 2000 residents were successfully evacuated". Retrieved 2015-02-21.
  12. ^ "Fire rips through Dubai skyscraper". BBC News. Retrieved 2015-02-21.
  13. ^ "Massive fire engulfs Dubai 'Torch' residential tower". RT. Russia: Autonomous Nonprofit Organization. 20 February 2015. Retrieved 2015-02-20.
  14. ^ "Fire erupts at Torch tower in Dubai Marina". Gulf News. 21 February 2015. Retrieved 2015-02-21.
  15. ^ Rai, Bindu (28 February 2015). "Dubai Marina Torch tower fire: 20 free hotel nights". Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  16. ^ a b Staff report (27 May 2015). "Repair on Torch Tower Under Way". Khaleej Times. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  17. ^ Ponce de Leon, Janice (9 April 2015). "Torch Tower Repairs to Commence Soon". Gulf News. Al Nisr Publishing LLC. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  18. ^ Baldwin, Derek (15 November 2015). "Dubai firefighters to get 20 Jetpacks to fight tower blazes". Gulf News. Al Nisr Publishing LLC. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  19. ^ "Large fire rips through Dubai skyscraper". BBC News. Retrieved 2017-08-03.
  20. ^ "Terrifying footage of blaze in Dubai's 1,105ft tall Torch tower skyscraper as flames and debris rain from the sky". Mirror. 3 August 2017. Retrieved 2017-08-03.
  21. ^ Nicola Slawson (3 August 2017). "Flames engulf 86-storey residential tower in Dubai". The Guardian.

External links

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