A complex where the inside-outside experience of the visitors is designed as fluid as possible. Vegetation creates a natural boundary towards the harsh traffic, whilst a new elevated plaza with a grand staircase creates a welcoming feeling and invites to seamlessly engage with the building.
The facade is understood as the layering of an outer skin, where matt pre-cast GRC modules give a non-reflective and monolithic stance while a deeper second layer, protected from the direct sunlight, allow for controlled glazing and a sensible illumination of the office spaces. This active shading system not only protects the tower and its users, but allows for a permanent view out without disturbing the sober and iconic look of the building.
A thorough study of the sun incidence led the design to manifest into a proposal that acts as an external veil. Given that not all facades receive the same sun incidence, the strategy asked for a modular approach that could adapt to the different faces of the building and thus transform its appearance with a single design language. With a total of 24 glass reinforced concrete elements (GRC) – half of them corner blocks – all facades can react to the sun exposure as logically required. Facing South, these modules would extend to their maximum depth, sheltering from the harsh sun while allowing for a visual on the horizon. Towards the North, the louvers within the modules allow for a brighter interior space and East and West facades develop a negotiated middle ground, where continuity is guaranteed with a seamless façade pattern.
The facade should not be mistaken for an exclusively external composition sheltering from the sun. The system takes into account thousands of years of building history to develop a modern mashrabiya. The façade has therefore 2 lives: day and night. During the day the vertical dunes draw everchanging shadows on the facades, while at night the tower resembles a glowing lantern.