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The Al-Bahar Tower, Abu Dhabi E-mail
(9 votes)
A quick glimpse at the upcoming weather for Abu Dhabi will show a week of intense sunshine, temperatures steadily above 100 degrees Fahrenheit with 0% chance of rain. In such extreme weather conditions, even architects listing environmental design as their top priority are up against a tough battle. Never mind that the sand can compromise the structural integrity of the building, the intense heat and glare can render a comfortable indoor environment relatively impossible if not properly addressed. For Abu Dhabi’s newest pair of towers, Aedas Architects have designed a responsive facade which takes cultural cues from the “mashrabiya”, a traditional Islamic lattice shading device.

Completed in June 2012, the 145 meter towers’ Masharabiya shading system was developed by the computational design team at Aedas. Using a parametric description for the geometry of the actuated facade panels, the team was able to simulate their operation in response to sun exposure and changing incidence angles during the different days of the year.


The Al-Bahar Tower, Abu Dhabi

The screen opperates as a curtain wall, sitting two meters outside the buildings’ exterior on an independent frame. Each triangle is coated with fiberglass and programmed to respond to the movement of the sun as a way to reduce solar gain and glare. In the evening, all the screens will close.

“At night they will all fold, so they will all close, so you’ll see more of the facade. As the sun rises in the morning in the east, the mashrabiya along the east of the building will all begin to close and as the sun moves round the building, then that whole vertical strip of mashrabiya will move with the sun,” said Peter Oborn, the deputy chairman of Aedas.


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Zaha Hadid's Sleek Metro Station, Saudia Arabia E-mail
(2 votes)
Zaha Hadid's Sleek Metro Station, Saudia Arabia

World renowned architect Zaha Hadid has just won a competition to design the new metro station for Saudia Arabia's capital city Riyadh. The city's population has doubled since 1990 and is now home to more than 5 million people. Due to this large influx of citizens, the city has now started planning a brand new metro system to better aid them in their day to day life.

Located in the King Abdullah Financial District, Hadid architect's proposal is a four story building that will feature six train platforms, two levels of underground parking, and even access to the cities pre-existing monorail line by use of a sky bridge. Much thought has been given into diminishing congestion by using a series of pedestrian walkways that run throughout the building without interfering with commuters and travelers.

Other design aspects of this project are the undulating waves featured on the walls and roof that are meant to symbolize Saudia Arabia's rolling desert dunes and give the building its unique fluid look. The structure's woven latice facade is designed to allow natural light to enter the interior of the station without causing a harsh glare. The estimated completion date of this project is 2017 and is sure to be an iconic landmark for the city of Riyadh.

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