Aedas clads al bahr towers with dynamic shading device
photo © christian richters
all images courtesy of Aedas

 

 

 

AEDAS has completed ‘al bahr towers’ in the united arab emirates, the new headquarters of the abu dhabi investment council. the brief called for the construction of two 25-storey towers, creating a distinctive gateway and landmark building for the region.

 

in generating the form of the two structures, the design team applied an algorithmic composition informed by islamic principles of design. combining technologically advanced solutions while considering the country’s architectural heritage, the dynamic façade opens and closes in response to the movement of the sun, reducing solar gain by up to 50%.

aedas al bahr towers designboom
the design creates a distinctive gateway and landmark building for the region
photo © christian richters

 

 

 

referencing the ‘mashrabiya’, a wooden lattice system found in vernacular islamic architecture, a series of translucent umbrella-like components which open and close in relation to the sun. each shading device is driven by a linear actuator and dramatically reduces the amount of sunlight striking the building, avoiding the need for tinted glazing.

aedas al bahr towers designboom
the dynamic shading façade
photo © christian richters

 

 

 

starting with two cylindrical volumes, the circular plan form was articulated to reduce solar exposure, generating a natural orientation. shaping the building around this core, the towers become broader at their mid-height. at the peak of each structure, the crown of each edifice is cut at an angle, configured to maximize solar gain for the roof mounted photovoltaics. sky gardens at the upper storeys provide external areas of recreation at roof level.

 

for designboom’s previous coverage the ‘al bahr towers’, see here.

aedas al bahr towers designboom
the approach to the tower complex
photo © christian richters

aedas al bahr towers designboom
sky gardens at the upper storeys provide external areas of recreation at roof level
photo © christian richters

aedas al bahr towers designboom
the entrance and reception area
photo © christian richters

aedas al bahr towers designboom
the view from the passing street
photo © christian richters

aedas al bahr towers designboom
‘al bahr towers’ forma dynamic silhouette on abu dhabi’s skyline
photo © christian richters

 

 

project info:

 

architect and lead consultant: Aedas
structural & MEP engineering: arup
specialist engineering: arup
landscape architect: townshend landscape

 

architects
cost consultants: davis langdon
architect of record: diar consult
project manager: mace

 

principal contractors
enabling works contractor: NSCC
main contractor: al-futtaim carillion
structural steel frame: william hare
MEP sub-contractor: pt gulf
façade & mashrabiya contractor: yuanda

 

key project dates
design team appointment: february 2008
enabling works commencement: march 2009
main contract commencement: november 2009
occupation date: 1st quarter 2012