‘al-bahr towers’ by Aedas, abu dhabi, UAE all images courtesy of Aedas




international practice Aedas is nearing completion of the ‘al-bahr towers’ for the abu dhabi investment council headquarters in abu dhabi, that utilize what is perhaps the largest and most advanced interactive sun-shading skin system. the two 25-storey office towers are parametrically designed based on islamic geometric mosaics, using the tessellation of simple shapes to drive the structure. the cylindrical forms maximize volume and floor-to-wall area while offering views in all directions, unfortunately however, this also opens the interior to a very large solar gain factor which is a substantial problem in the extreme local climates.

Aedas: al-bahr towers in abu dhabi standing tall in the abu dhabi landscape




reinterpreting the traditional wood-lattice screens called ‘mashrabiya’ using today’s technological abilities resulted in an outer skinsystem of triangular screens arranged in a series of scalable hexagons fold up to create a solid solar barrier. each of the 1000 panels is connected to a linear actuator which enables it to function in response to the position of the sun, effectively reducing heat gain and glare by 50% while giving islamic vernacular a contemporary representation. the intelligent facade, together with solar thermal panels for hot-water heating and photovoltaic panels on the roof, minimize the need for internal lighting and cooling, altogether reducing total carbon dioxide emissions by over 1750 tons per year.      

Aedas: al-bahr towers in abu dhabi sun-shading panels fold up and down

Aedas: al-bahr towers in abu dhabi

Aedas: al-bahr towers in abu dhabi transformation of geometries

Aedas: al-bahr towers in abu dhabi structural layers of the towers

Aedas: al-bahr towers in abu dhabi geometric make-up of the panel system and its structure, opened (left) and closed (right)

Aedas: al-bahr towers in abu dhabi design team