Foster + Partners’ latest green architectural marvel is a wing-shaped museum in Abu Dhabi. This new design for the Zayed National Museum at saadiyat island cultural district features five feather-like or wing shaped solar towers that are energy-saving. The massive structure will be exemplary in showcasing the history and culture of the country. It combines contemporary form with elements of traditional Arabic design.
The museum is named after UAE founder Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The Sultan is known for his great love of falconry and affection for nature. The exotic beauty of nature is displayed through landscaped garden based on a timeline of the great man’s life. Live birds will also be on display in an outdoor arena. Altogether it will make an exquisite eco-design.
The five towers act as thermal chimneys and draw cooling currents through the museum. The fresh air is captured and drawn through underground ground-cooling pipes. It is then released into the museum’s lobby. The towers extend from a landscaped mound. The mound is a man made one which also houses the galleries. Thus it minimizes the use of electricity.
The towers heat up at the top so the air is pulled up vertically through the galleries due to the thermal stack effect. It is then drawn out of the air vents. The galleries are anchored by a dramatic top-lit central lobby, which is dug into the earth to exploit its thermal properties and brings together shops, cafes, and auditorium and informal venues for performances.
The carefully positioned windows and openings of the building will help in maximizing the desert’s ample day lighting.
The building was revealed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai and Her Majesty queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.