Architects Foster + Partners have launched their design for Abu Dhabi World Trade Center, part of the Al Raha Beach development in Abu Dhabi.
The design strategy is a highly specific response to the climate and topography of this dramatic coastal site and the building has evolved through a process of sophisticated environmental computer analysis. The resulting scheme provides shade while also admitting light; is cooled by a natural flow of air but is buffered against the strong desert wind; is asymmetrical and sculptural yet is environmentally and functionally coherent.
The Abu Dhabi World Trade Center is a multi-use building that brings together offices, apartments, a hotel and shops to encourage a constant pattern of economic and social activity throughout the day.
The form of the building is rooted in a sustainable environmental strategy that relies on a series of passive controls. To the south, the building is indented to reduce the external area most vulnerable to direct sunlight. The services and circulation cores occupy most of the remaining exposed areas. At ground level, the overhang of the roof creates a shaded walkway that wraps around the building, and the roof is streamlined according to the prevailing winds to encourage cooling air currents around and through the building.
The project is due to start on site this summer.