Winning competition entry for the Abu Dhabi Investment CouncilAll images, plans and information courtesy of Aedas; Images and plans © by Aedas
Sustainable design derived from regional building tradition
Aedas has won an international competition to design a landmark development for the Abu Dhabi Investment Council (ADIC). The project will transform a total site area of 11,500m2 with a unique architectural design that is consistent with the UAE’s ‘2030 Development Plan’.
Utilising state-of-the-art advanced modelling and sustainable design techniques, Aedas’ design for the dual office tower complex will act as a gateway to the city, with the two buildings rising to 145 metres. The project will provide world-class accommodation for over 2,000 employees.
The design brief was based on the desire to create a landmark building which would reflect the underlying cultural tradition of Abu Dhabi, together with the standing of the Investment Council.
The design concept derives from traditional Islamic patterns and includes a diaphanous ‘mashrabiya’ which will protect the most severely exposed parts of the building, contributing to a projected 20% reduction in the cooling load to ensure a sustainable and efficient building. The ‘mashrabiya’ has been conceived as a dynamic façade which will open and close in response to the sun’s path, contributing towards a LEED certification.
Fig.1: Main Concept
The following comprise the main features design concept:
• Subtractive Geometry
• Pattern Composition
• Solar Treatment
• Ambience Treatment
Inspiration from Nature
• Form Development
• Supporting Structure
• Skin Adaptation
• Energy Efficiency
• Renewable Energy
• Shading system
• Multi Layered Skin
• Air Circulation
While the design team is aspires to create a distinctive landmark building, the underlying design concept relies on well established methodologies and technologies.
Fig.2: Concept Development
Key Design Elements
The circle (2D) and sphere (3D) form the basis of most Islamic geometric patterns and 3D forms. The circle / sphere resembles unity, while the motion around a well defined centre resembles a uniqueness in identity and generates a unique axis. The intersection of the infinite arrangements and populations of the circles and sphere generate infinite arrangements of nodes. The ways with which these nodes are interpreted and linked generate the various relationships from which the form of the building has been generated.
Each of the tower floor plates is made of six tangential arcs, all of which are linked to the building profile to form an additional arc and includes a circular core in the middle. The form of the floor plates and tower profile provides a great deal of flexibility in terms of zoning and orientation.
A unique crystalline/honeycombed structure has been derived from the underlying geometry which provides highly efficient load paths and creates a structural solution which is at once stable, flexible and economical. The structural form also embodies a high degree of redundancy which would be very resilient if damaged. The superstructure is expressed on the external face of the building reflecting the underlying geometrical framework.
The internal partitions generally radiate from the building core and meet the façade at the perimeter of the floor plates to provide optimal circulation and light distribution. A sky garden with a four-storey void above is provided at every 7th floor.
Façade and Automated Shading Devices
A relatively clear glass curtainwall forms the “weathering” layer of the towers’ skin. A secondary veil comprises intelligent automated shading components that open and closes via centrally located linear actuators that react to the sun path. The shading veil acts as a dynamic ‘Mashrabiya’ (wooden lattice shading screen particular to the Middle East). The dynamic screen will reduce solar heat gain/glare and provide better visibility than dark tinted glazing which can distort the image of the surrounding view.
Benefits of the Mashrabiya
Solar Heat Gain
The dynamic Mashrabiya will provide 80% – 90% shading to the facade, thus significantly reducing solar heat gain as a direct result of it’s capability to open and close in response to the varying sun paths throughout each calendar year.
The dynamic Mashrabiya will ensure that minimal direct sunlight penetrates the vision area at any time, thus significantly reducing solar glare and reducing the need for internal blinds.
The dynamic Mashrabiya will open and close following the sun path thus optimising the amount of natural daylight distribution into the building, effectively reducing the use of artificial lighting.
The Mashrabiya comprises a translucent fabric mesh (PFTE), providing occupants with views to the outside even when the screen is completely unfolded (closed). This dynamic system will also allow the utilisation of glass with higher transparency and lower reflectivity compared to other buildings in the region, thus providing a superior viewing to the external environment and less distortion on the outer face of the aspect.
• 20% reduction in Electricity Consumption (reduction in AC and lighting usage)
• 20% reduction in CO2 Emission
• 15% reduction in Cooling Plant Capital Cost
• Client : Abu Dhabi Investment Council
• Architects and Lead Consultants : Aedas
• Structural Engineers : Arup
• MEP Engineers : Arup
• Specialist Engineers : Arup
• Cost Consultants : Davis Langdon
• Landscape Architects : Townshend