Upcoming weather for Abu Dhabi shows a week of temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit with 0% chance of rain. In such extreme conditions, architects practicing 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 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 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...