Ferrari World is the world's largest indoor theme park which houses amusement rides and entertainment and celebrates the world famous sports car manufacturer.
The amusements include the Formula Rossa ride, boosting a top speed of 240km/h which it can reach within 4.9 seconds, making it the fastest ride on the planet. It's not only the rides that are impressive; the sheer scale of the building has to be seen to be believed. The space frame roof (again, the largest ever constructed) is clad in the internationally recognisable Ferrari red and silver and if stood on its end, would be the largest man made structure in the world at over 300 floors tall. To put that into perspective, Dubai's Burj Khalifa at 828m high only has 168 floors!
Neil Kee MCIAT, who was a pivotal member of the team on the project said: "The perimeter of the building is approximately 1km, so we had to think very carefully about our detailing and material choices. My favourite part of the project is the double curve eaves detail which takes its language from the Ferrari 250GT. The detail itself was very simple, and the uninterrupted form of the 'sweep' is characteristically deeply rooted within Ferrari culture."
The main internal space sits under the 'central shield' structure. The central space consists of three main floor levels; Undercroft (parking, service etc), Plaza (attractions) and Mezzanine (attractions). The plaza floor hosts the majority of the attractions with the major rides being located within stand-alone reinforced concrete 'boxes'.
Creating such a prestigious structure in a different country was a challenge in itself.
"We worked with various construction regulations and diverse cultural standards which sometimes made a solution difficult to reach. We had to focus very hard on the job in task in order to maintain quality at every level", continues Neil. "The space frame structure is extremely complicated with over 170,000 steel members and the team had to consider every detail before allowing construction to commence to ensure the concept would be delivered."
The main shield roof (Ferrari red area) is constructed using a simple aluminium standing seam method of construction. However, due to the complicated logistics of the construction site, a bespoke insitu standing seam rolling machine was commissioned and used. This gave the builders the capability to role one sheet of aluminium to a length of 80m. The standing seam build up is supported by the top nodes of the space frame roof and has a u-value of 0.18w/m²k.
The space frame roof is supported via two rows of concentric column grids with the clear spans totalling up to 60m. The spaceframe 'beams' are designed using a traditional Arabic 12-star pattern and lead your eye towards the self supporting spaceframe central tunnel. The roof structure is completely independent of the central 'funnel' and the external 'triform' areas. This separation had to occur because the movement in the aluminium and steel structure is vast, due to the heat loads it is constantly under.
Neil continues, "The Benoy team recognised that a building with such huge volume and climatic location would be difficult, if not impossible to design a carbon neutral standard. However, we ensured that from the outset passive and active sustainable design method were incorporated into the concept. We designed with high levels of thermal insulation in all locations to reduce heat gain. Passive solar shading 'ribs' were incorporated into the façade design; the façade was then inclined to reduce direct solar gains. Rainwater and grey water collection services have been installed and ENVAC waste collection and recycling has also been incorporated. Sustainability was always going to be an issue with this project but we identified this from the outset so that we could minimise the building's impact on the environment."
To the northwest, northeast and southern extremities of the Ferrari experience there are three individual roof structures known as tri-forms. Within the northern tri-forms there are two world-class roller coasters. The southern tri-form sits directly behind the F1 main hairpin and is a world-class music gig area.
Neil proudly exclaims that Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi "exceeded Aldar's (the client) expectations and I was astounded at how closely the finished building resembled the very first concept sketches! This whole project was full of technical input and maintaining the balance between the technicality of the construction and the elegant curves of Ferrari was the key to success."