Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

2012 Tall Building Innovation Award

“The dynamic façade on Al Bahar, computer-controlled to respond to optimal solar and light conditions, has never been achieved on this scale before. In addition, the expression of this outer skin seems to firmly root the building in its cultural context.”
                                                                                                                                   – Chris Wilkinson, Awards Juror
                                                                                                                                               Wilkinson Eyre Architects

The Index  

Al Bahar Towers, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Completion Date: June, 2012
Height: 145 meters
Stories: 29
Use: Office
Owner: Abu Dhabi Investment Council
Design Architect: Aedas Architects Ltd
Associate Architect: Diar Consult
Structural Engineer: Arup
MEP Engineer: Arup
Project Manager: Mace International


The Al Bahar Tower’s innovative dynamic façade opens and closes in response to the movement of the sun, reducing solar gain by more than 50 percent, creating a more comfortable internal environment for occupants and producing a distinctive external aesthetic which helps to define the building as a gateway to the UAE capital. The façade was conceived as a contemporary interpretation of the traditional Islamic “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.