Abu Dhabi Investment Council
The Brief 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 Emirates ‘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 150 metres. The project will provide world-class accommodation for over 2,000 employees. The design brief was based on the desire to create a building which would represent the ethos of the Investment Council, while also reflecting the underlying cultural tradition of Abu Dhabi in a modern idiom. It was essential that the building should respond to the prevailing environmental conditions of the region and reflect the aspiration of the UAE to become a leader in the field of renewable and alternative energy, reducing fossil fuel consumption. ADIC is set to achieve LEED Silver certification, where the façade plays a major role in the overall target score. The Concept The design concept derives from traditional Islamic patterns and includes a diaphanous ‘mashrabiya’ which protects the most severely exposed parts of the building, contributing to a projected 20% reduction in the total cooling load while responding to the surrounding landscape to ensure a highly 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, and the design team are targeting accreditation to the LEED Silver standard. Islamic architecture, sustainable systems and inspiration from nature form the triangular foundation of the design concept. The power of the concept (Fig.1) lies in the algorithmic rules devised to integrate the design principles via computation in order to generate a coherent building and which appear in many aspects of the project. Aedas has revived the spirit of Islamic architecture and reintroduces it through advanced design techniques while maintaining a strong relation to Middle Eastern heritage. This aim is to deliver a contemporary and environmentally friendly iconic landmark, and a building rooted to the local culture of the city of Abu Dhabi. The following are the main features and characteristics of the three main components of the concept design: Islamic Architecture: Subtractive Geometry Pattern Composition Solar Treatment Ambience Treatment Inspiration from Nature: Form Development Supporting Structure Skin Adaptation Energy Efficiency Sustainable Technology: Renewable Energy; Photovoltaic Solar Panels Shading system Multi Layered Skin Air Circulation While there is a high expectation to deliver a distinctive project with unique features, the main philosophy serves to achieve this goal via well established methodologies and technologies. Key Design Elements Geometric Composition: 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 and forms. Main Form: 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. Main Structure: 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 unique honey-comb structure developed for ADIC is a world first. Internal Layout: 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. Key Facts Solar Heat Gain: The dynamic Mashrabiya will provide 80% - 90% shading to the curtainwall, 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. Solar Glare: 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. Daylight: 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. Visibility: The Mashrabiya comprises a see-through 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. Economy: • 20% reduction in Electricity Consumption (reduction in AC and lighting usage) • 20% reduction in CO2 Emission • 15% reduction in Cooling Plant Capital Cost


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