Inspired by the traditional Arabic mashrabiya (wooden lattice screens, carved to some geometric design that have filled the windows of traditional Arabic architecture since the 14th century), Aedas has developed a unique skin for steel-frame skyscrapers. It will reduce interior heat gains caused by sunlight by around 50 percent and it is really important in the hot climate of the United Arab Emirates.
The skin is made up of 2,000 automated umbrella-like modules per tower, which open and close to vary the amount of shade according to the daytime. This means that the responsive façade is not only constantly changing throughout the day, but will present a varying “texture” throughout the year as the sun’s altitude in the sky changes with the seasons. It also enabled the designers to select glazing with a fairly light tint, allowing more daylight to enter, reducing the need for artificial lighting, and giving occupants a more naturally-tinted view of the outside world.
The project was awarded the 2012 Tall Building Innovation Award by the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.