Two separate but identical buildings are taking shape on a prime site in downtown Manama. Surrounded by high-rise commercial and banking premises, the complex located on a 2,250 sq m site on Government Avenue opposite the National Bank of Bahrain Tower, is expected to be completed in May-end, 2000.

Work is under way on the sixth level of the complex with shuttering in progress on one of the buildings and reinforcement for the columns being placed on the second, according to Ebrahim Serrieh, the project manager for Modern Architect, the design consultant.

Each building, incorporating high-quality finishes, will have basement car-parking for 24 cars, ground and mezzanine floors for showrooms/shop units, and the upper floors from first to seventh levels accommodating office areas with toilets, pantries and services.

Cybarco Bahrain is the main contractor for the tapered-style building which comprises a reinforced concrete frame. It will be clad with precast concrete and have double-glazed curtainwall elements. The buildings sit on 132 piles and offer an open-plan interior space, with the flooring slabs consisting of precast hollowcore.

Each building will have elegant entrances with reception areas, two high-quality lifts and one service lift.

The rooftop houses mechanical services and telescopic cleaning mechanisms for the glazed facades of the buildings.

Construction work on the project was launched in December 1998. Being located in the heart of the city, site access was a major concern. To prevent disruption to traffic during the day on the busy Government Avenue, concreting takes place after 10 pm every night, according to Serrieh.

Each building will offer 815 sq m of leasable space for shops and showrooms on the ground and mezzanine levels and 4,992 sq m of office space.

The tapered nature of each building means that different floors offer different areas of office space. The four typical office floors (first to fourth level) of each building provide 680 sq m per floor. Above these levels are two other typical office floors each offering 535 sq m of office space while the seventh floor will provide 387 sq m of office area.

Baker Wilkins and Smith is the quantity surveyor for the project.