2013 Winner

Aedas Architects Limited - Al Bahr Towers  - Abu Dhabi, UAE

Al Bahr Towers is a development in the emirate of Abu Dhabi consisting of two 29-storey, 145m–high towers. The building used advanced façade design to deal with the extreme weather conditions that may include a week of intense sunshine, with temperatures steadily above 100 degrees Fahrenheit with 0% chance of rain, with sand storms that may compromise the structural integrity of a building. In such extreme weather conditions, even architects listing environmental design as their top priority are up against a tough battle. Aedas Architects  designed a responsive facade which takes cultural cues from the “mashrabiya”, a traditional Islamic lattice shading device.


The Judges liked the ‘overall ingenuity, uniqueness and engineering complexity of the façade design’ of the Al Bahr Towers, adding that ‘there wasn’t another project on the planet that appeared to embrace the principals of active shading in such a comprehensive and elegant way’.


Aedas, working with Arup Façade and Yuanda, created a mashrabiya façade for the project featuring more than 1,000 moving elements that expand and contract according to the sun’s position to reduce solar gain by more than 50 per cent, whilst also reducing the offices’ dependence on artificial light.




© The Society of Façade Engineering, a Division of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers.


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