Pacifico restaurant – Continuing the legacy – Ken McIntosh

McIntosh Timber Laminates, mlb Consulting Engineers & Timber Construction Solutions Ltd

Though it had been some time since Ken was involved directly with project work, he continued to play an active role in advising and providing guidance on options and solutions. The Pacifico project (formerly Ruby’s Restaurant) in Abu Dhabi, was a result of Ken’s earlier vision to see potential in the Middle East for McIntosh Glulam projects. In the early 1990s on his way back from the opening of a project in North Africa, Ken visited Dubai, Kuwait and Bahrain looking at possible markets, visiting local consultants and contractors, leaving them with information on McIntosh Timber Laminates (MTL) solutions. MTLs first project came when a contractor recalled Ken’s visit and asked MTL to present a design for the Jumeirah Beach Club. This resulted in MTL providing the supply and supervision for this project in 1993. Pacifico is evidence of the continued business MTL have enjoyed since that time – all largely as a result of Ken’s pushing the boundaries of recognised markets in those days and seeing potential.


The design concept of a “floating” structure with dramatic curved profiles was developed by UK Architects Broadway Malyan for the Al Raha Beach Resort in Abu Dhabi. The curved structural elements particularly suited the use of gluelaminated timber, veering away from the region’s common use of reinforced concrete. Mark L Batchelar Consulting Engineers was engaged to establish the feasibility of the concept by developing an initial timber structure system. Based on this preliminary investigation Global Timber Homes Ltd, a joint venture between McIntosh Timber Laminates and Timber Construction Solutions, was successful in securing the construction contract. Detailed structural design was then progressed, maximising the use of New Zealand timber products. A total of ten container loads of New Zealand certified renewable resource timber was used in the project. The main structural frames for the building envelope, first floor and deck areas are designed in glue-laminated radiata pine manufactured by McIntosh Timber Laminates Ltd, Auckland. Two intertwining trapezoids with curved corners are supported on turned Glulam columns up to 10 metres long. The first floor secondary framing is a truss joist system using Mitek parallel chord trusses. There is also a high level mechanical services concrete platform on slender concrete columns. This introduces an additional structural element to be integrated into the main building system comprising glue-laminated timber frames with plywood diaphragm roof, floor and wall elements. The unusual geometry of the structure with asymmetry in both elevation and plan made a full three dimensional computer model of the structure essential. Structure loadings were based on British Standards for dead, live and wind loads while seismic design was required to comply with the American Unified Building Code UBC. The different structure elevations required wind load to be assessed for maximum loads on each of the four faces of the building.

TDJ 20/2

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