Minimal is not a word that comes mind when thinking of most properties in Dubai. After all, for nearly two decades, developers have focused on ostentatious designs for buildings that are then highlighted with opulent finishes and fittings.

One developer is striving to change all that, however, with a new project that is under way off the coast alongside Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR).

There has been much talk about Dubai Properties’ 1/JBR project, a 46-storey luxury residential building that caught the attention of many online when its advert stating that the project is ‘not for everyone’ went viral. But why is it not for everyone?

Visiting the site of the $272.2m (AED1bn) 1/JBR, Construction Week spoke to the project’s architect to understand what makes it stand out from its peers in the city.

“The thing about this project that is really different is that it is minimal,” Ivar Krasinski, founding partner and design director at Edge, the lead consultant and design architect of the project.

“It is really not that common in Dubai that you find buildings that are initially trying to [achieve] a calmer aesthetic, although that is starting to become more and more of a trend.”

Krasinski says the developer is looking to present a luxury option complete with 360-degree waterfront views and high-quality finishing.

Founding partner and managing director of Edge, Martin Baerschmidt, says the advert for the property has been very well received, with more than five million views on YouTube. He adds that it captured the “spirit of the building”. 

“I think the biggest testament [to the design] will be going into the building and seeing the views first hand, which is something that cannot really be described in the commercial” Baerschmidt says. 

The architects also touch on an interesting point – simplicity seems to be the growing trend for design in the city. This involves opting for a simpler style, but trying to be creative for high-end customers, according to Krasinski. 

“This is what’s happening at the moment. The market is starting to accept that simplicity can also be luxurious. And that it is actually more luxurious than having more decoration. The 1/JBR project has a bold and clear design,” he says. 

As for its construction progress so far, the building of 1/JBR is moving at a rapid pace, with the team currently completing one floor of the building every week. 

Core walls have been cast as far up as the 15th floor, and slabs have been cast to the 13th floor. Block work is progressing up to the ninth floor. 

“In terms of overall construction, much of the podium is already done, with the superstructure maybe more than halfway done. We are starting with the finishes inside, and from outdoors, the ceilings are in place,” Baerschmidt says. 

“A lot of the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems are in place, and the finishes are starting to come on board now, with the glass curtain wall and the front façade coming in soon.” 

According to a recent update that Dubai Properties supplied to Construction Week, finishing work is also currently being carried out on the basement and podium levels. 

The developer awarded Dubai Contracting Company the main contract for 1/JBR in February 2017. WSP has been appointed as the structural and MEP engineer, and the architect of record for the project.

The building will be a purely residential development, without a commercial or retail element. Once completed, it will feature a total of 164 housing units, covering 45,096m² of gross floor area and 73,756m² of built-up area. 

The development’s amenities will include a gym, an infinity pool and a children’s pool, as well as a barbecue area. Residents will be entitled to two parking spaces per apartment or six parking spaces per penthouse. 

Each of the five-bedroom penthouses will be accessible through a private lobby at parking level and will have exclusive elevator service.