Innovative in every sense, the 29-storey Al Bahar Towers in Abu Dhabi, , UAE feature a remarkable façade that opens and closes in response to the sun’s rotation.
Completed in June 2012, the 475 feet 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.
“Mashrabiya”; a popular form of wooden lattice screen found in vernacular Islamic architecture and used as a device for achieving privacy while reducing glare and solar gain.
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.
The Al Bahar Towers in Abu Dhabi won the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s (CTBUH) first Innovation Award (2012) for the project’s computer-controlled sun-screen.