In April, The View rooftop opened atop The Palm Tower in Dubai. With a 360-degree observation deck overlooking the Arabian Gulf and the Dubai skyline, the space also features an interactive exhibit leading up to the viewing deck on the fifty-second floor. Centered around “Inspiring Wonder,” a memorable experience educates and entertains visitors, and delivers touchpoints that evoke the natural landscape and share the story of Palm Jumeirah, which it sits 240 meters above.
Created in collaboration between Gensler’s design teams in New York and Abu Dhabi and Nakheel Properties, the multifaceted design shines with Gensler’s expertise in architecture, technology, experience, and purpose.
Whitewall spoke with John Bricker, Principal and Creative Director at Gensler, to hear more about the stunning new feature for the residential property and why the firm’s human-centric projects cater to authentic, meaningful connections.
WHITEWALL: The View features an interactive digital media exhibit leading to the viewing deck, inspired by “Inspired Wonder.” Why did you want to incorporate an art piece here?
JOHN BRICKER: The View at The Palm consists of three themes – sea, sand, and air – to evoke the natural landscape and mark visual transitions throughout one’s journey. Entry to The View at The Palm begins at the roof plaza of Nakheel Mall leading to a portal encompassed in digital graphics of shimmering water which illustrates passage through an aquarium with moving fish and underwater life. Visitors are then led into an immersive theatre room that shares the authentic story of Palm Jumeirah’s creation through a kinetic table and floor-to-ceiling media display.
With these moments, we wanted to provide visitors with purposeful design and digital engagement that deepens their experience prior to ascending to the viewing deck. People expect destination experiences to support a variety of intentions—mixing places for interaction with places for reflection. Our goal was to provide visitors with these distinctive moments with the digital media exhibit to evoke the emotional connection between immersive technology and intellectual engagement.
WW: The artwork evokes the natural landscape and shows visual transitions as guests travel up to the observation deck on the fifty-second floor. What is seen here? How was this accomplished?
JB: As visitors enter the elevator, they will be surrounded by a digital media display on two walls that feature video capturing panoramic views from The Palm Tower. The display evokes an actual panoramic lift with ascending views over the island. We accomplished this through a fully integrated design, which included strategy, user experience, and creative technology.
WW: Can you tell us about working with Nakheel Properties to create this unique space?
JB: It was a highly collaborative process working alongside Nakheel to bring this unique destination to life. Through a visioning session, our design teams in New York and Abu Dhabi worked with Nakheel to realize an accessible, educational, entertaining, flexible, and high-value destination centered on the theme “Inspiring Wonder.”
The teams crafted distinct storylines to shape the exhibit’s architecture interiors and developed naming strategies to exemplify the project, ultimately selecting “The View at The Palm.” Also, a holistic brand program designed by our team, includes a logo and brand identity design. We are delighted to have launched this special project with Nakheel and see visitors immersed in The View experience.
WW: The design features Gensler’s expertise in strategy, brand design, architecture, user experience, and creative technology. What do you feel is the “special sauce” that makes Gensler’s designs quintessentially “Gensler”?
JB: The View at The Palm is a powerful example of our firm’s multidisciplinary design that culminates in a truly unique and unforgettable space. At Gensler, we strive to make the places people live, work, and play more inspiring, resilient, and memorable. The world is experiencing a reset unlike anything anyone has ever seen and things are evolving quickly. However, we’ve found clarity around one thing—people are craving meaningful, authentic connection. What makes our designs unique is that we create spaces that bring people together, enhancing each experience with a human-centric purpose.